Do you slouch forward when stood up rather than standing up straight? Do you spend your days at work craned over a desk rather that sitting up and facing forward? Many of us know what a bad posture looks like, but we may not do much about it. What a lot of us don’t realise is that this posture could be having numerous negative effects on our physical health, mental health and social standing. Here are just seven reasons to put your chin up and stop arching that back.
It will make you look more confident
A good posture makes you come across more confident. It makes you look alert and tells people that you’re willing to engage with them. Slouching and putting your head down could be interpreted as a sign of weakness – you’re more likely to be preyed upon by criminals if you display this kind of posture because psychologically we associate it with timidity. Meanwhile, by giving off a sense that you’re hiding something, it can also make people less trusting of you – this could impact your persuasive skills in certain situations.
It will make you feel more confident too
On top of looking more confident, you could also feel more confident. We naturally feel more alert in this posture because we can see more and the increased height from looking up can makes us feel bigger. This all helps us to feel less threatened and readier to take on any challenge in our path. It’s for this reason that many people stand up straight when taking important phone calls – even though the person you’re speaking too can’t see your posture, this stance can make us feel more confident.
You’ll be less likely to suffer from back problems later in life
This one of the most obvious benefits of a good posture. Hunching over puts a strain on our spine, which can weaken the lower joints and discs. These joints and discs in our lower back may then become too weak to hold up our body weight, which can lead to constant pain. On top of leading to spinal problems, a bad posture can lead to muscle fatigue by not exercising certain muscles or causing other to be constantly contracted. This too can cause chronic pain in the long run. By improving your posture, you could help to prevent this pain later in life.
You’ll be less likely to develop neck wrinkles
There are many ways to banish neck lines. One way of preventing these wrinkles could be to improve your posture – when your head is down, the folds in your neck are likely to be constantly creased, which can lead to permanent wrinkles in old age. By raising your head high, these folds of skin won’t be creased as often and you’ll be less likely to develop wrinkles here.
You’ll breathe better
A good posture is also good for your breathing. This is because the lungs are at full capacity – when hunched over the lungs are slightly compressed and so you’re unable to take in as much breath. A good posture could therefore be useful when taking any form of physical exercise, allowing you to use your whole lungs and preventing you from getting out of breath as easily.
Your stomach muscles will get stronger
When hunched over, your stomach muscles are contracted. This is particularly the case when sat down and hunched over. When muscles are constantly contracted they get used to being shorter and then become weaker. This can make it harder to then build these muscles and easier to gain fat in this area. By improving your posture, you could keep your muscles strong and beat the bulge.
You could get fewer headaches
A good posture also improves the flow of blood to your head. This could prevent you from getting as many headaches by keeping your brain oxygenated. A good posture also results in less tension in the neck and shoulders, which could also prevent headaches. This could be something worth considering if you’re a frequent sufferer of migraines.