Good posture doesn’t just look nice. It’s an important ingredient of overall health. Proper skeletal alignment places the least amount of pressure on your joints, thus slowing and preventing degenerative processes. This means less pain! However, there is more. EVERY one of your body’s systems works better when you stand upright. Digestion is more efficient. Heart, vessels, and lungs can deliver oxygen and nutrients to all tissues more effectively. Endocrine glands work better, which means improved hormone-related functions, such as mood, growth, sexual function, and more. The lymphatic system can do its job, heightening your immunity against illness. All this means that good posture is connected to disease prevention and management. Standing properly is a simple, proactive approach to being well.
Research has also shown that good posture is related to improved mood, energy, confidence, and success.
Finding good posture is not difficult, but it takes practice. Here's how to find it. This seems like a long list, but with practice you'll soon have it down to 10 seconds or less…
Spread your toes. Find three points of a triangle on the bottom of each foot: big toe ball, pinky toe ball, and centre of your heel. Press these three points into the ground, distributing your weight equally between each foot.
Lift your arches. Carry this lifting action all the way up the inside of your legs toward your groin. Your legs are straight but ensure you have a slight bend in your knees. It is important to keep your knees soft at all times.
Slightly rotate your thighbones inward, careful not to let your arches drop. This will create a sense of width across the back of your pelvis.
Gently compress your abdomen by drawing your navel toward your spine. Lift your lower back ribs up and away from your kidneys.
Roll your shoulders back a few times, settling them down away from your ears and in line with your hips. Slightly draw both shoulder blades toward the spine, engagement mid-back musculature to open your chest and shoulders.
Lift the base of your skull upward to elongate the back of your neck, as if you have a string attached to the top of your head pulling upward. From a side view, your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles are stacked atop one another.
Relax the muscles of your forehead and jaw. Breath naturally and easily. Inhalation flows into exhalation. Exhalation flows into inhalation, no holding at the top or bottom of the breath cycle.
There, you've done it. The first step to good posture and all its benefits is simply awareness. This all applies to seated posture as well, but instead you work from your sit bones (bony protrusions at the bottom of your pelvis) upward. When you find yourself in a slouched position, take 10 seconds to fix it. Notice how much better good posture feels and congratulate yourself for taking a small but important step forward toward whole-body health.