Correct your Posture as one of the Easiest ways to Boost Performance.
“87% of young people have back pain. The other 13% have no computer.” This is a joke of course, but one that plays on the reality of our sitting-centric society.
Take a moment to consider the amount of time per day you spend in your car, at a desk, watching television or using a device (phone/iPad/gaming). Spending much of our time in a seated position, the body often begins to take on a hunched-over shape. Over time, the muscles that were designed to hold us upright become weak and lose the ability to provide the support for which they were intended.
The human body functions best when the major structural elements (head, torso and pelvis) are in alignment. Dr. Steven Weiniger author of Stand Taller Live Longer: An Anti-Aging Strategy says sitting all too often leads to slouching, and being sedentary with poor posture can erode the body’s architecture.
Aside from the aches and pains we experience from misalignment, Dr. Weiniger calls attention to other serious health implications.
As you slouch, more pressure is put on your visceral organs such that they are not functioning optimally. Poor posture has a particularly adverse effect on the lungs as the chest cavity is not able to expand fully. Breathing is important for your health—aside from the critical function of supplying your body with oxygen, the lungs are an important excretory organ which help rid your body of toxins.
Most of us are unaware that the physical structure of our body is just as important as the chemical structure. Experts suggest posture is as important as eating right, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems (such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments) it is worth addressing.
Improving your posture begins with awareness. Do a posture check throughout the day. There are many types of posture exercises that use intentional focus and they can be performed in a matter of minutes. Breathing exercises and shoulder rolls can even be done in the car or at your desk.
To maintain the benefits you gain by implementing posture exercise and awareness, establishing good posture while sitting is the most critical factor. Ensure you sit with your back against your chair and feet flat on the floor (use a foot rest if appropriate). When you look at a computer screen, your eyes should be level with the center of the monitor. If they aren’t, adjust accordingly.
Here’s hoping these tips get you out of your slump. Happy New Year!