You've probably been told at some point in your life to stop slouching. Maybe you shrugged it off and continued to perpetuate your text neck by looking down at your phone screen, but there's a good reason why you should listen next time.
Poor posture has a serious negative effect on overall health, which is why physical therapist Murat Dalkilinç put together an animated lesson about posture on TED Ed. "Your posture, the way you hold your body when you're sitting or standing, is the foundation for every movement your body makes and can determine how well your body adapts to the stresses on it," according to Dalkilinç in the video.
Poor posture could be the source of any pains your body is experiencing because it puts a major strain on your body. It can also seriously effect your mood and mental health. It can make you sad, nervous, hostile, fearful and sleepy, according to a 2014 study published in Health Psychology. If just standing up straight can more enthusiastic and less fatigued, it's definitely worth a shot.
Here's what Dalkilinç says good posture looks like:
When you're standing, your center of gravity needs to be directly over your base of support. To achieve this, stand so a straight line from a point just in front of your shoulders to behind your hip to the front of your knee to your ankle. Hold your head up high with your chin parallel to the ground. When you're walking, move your arms and shoulders naturally.
When you're sitting, your neck should be vertical. Try to prevent yourself from tilting it forward. Your shoulders should be relaxed and your arms should be kept close to your trunk. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a right angle.
Sounds tough? It's easier than you think. Here's how you can improve your posture:
1. Adjust your computer screen at home and at work so that it's at or slightly below your eye level.
2. Be aware of all parts of your body and make sure they're supported. Use ergonomic aids if you need for your elbows and wrists.
3. When it's bedtime, sleep on your side. Place a pillow underneath your neck for support and between your legs.
4. Wear shoes with low heels and good arch support as often as you can.
5. Use a headset when taking phone calls instead of keeping the phone up to your ear.
6. Keep your muscles and joints moving throughout the day.
7. Make sure you keep the things you're carrying close to your body.
8. If you've been sitting for a while, get up and take a walk. Even if it's only for a few minutes, some movement is better than none.
Check out the whole TED Ed video below:
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