Sponsored By: StandDesk
For much of our adolescent lives, we’re told to “stand straight” or “sit up tall!” and “stop slouching!” While most of us shrugged it off at the time, we should have listened. As it turns out, poor posture can directly affect your health.
The biggest contributor to poor posture is sitting. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the average American works at a desk for over 40 hours a week. Often referred to as “the smoking of our generation,” sitting does more than just promote bad posture. It also increases the risk of heart disease and shortens our lifespan.
We want you to live a long and healthy life. So do the people at StandDesk, a company that saw the negative impact of sitting and decided to make a change. By encouraging others to stand more throughout the day, they’re making a huge splash in offices and homes throughout the country.
Poor Posture Stresses You Out
We bet you never thought posture could have a direct impact on your mood. It’s true! When we’re slouchy, we’re grouchy (sorry we couldn’t help ourselves). Research shows that hunching forward actually promotes negative thoughts – and we’re more likely to do, say or just think about something positive when we’re sitting or standing tall.
Poor Posture Strains Muscles & Bones
Put simply, poor posture requires your muscles and connective tissue to hold you up. That means your spine, shoulders, hips and knees are doing a lot more work than they should to support improper alignment. The more work your bones do, and the earlier they start doing this hard work, the chances of developing bone-related issues like osteoporosis increases.
Poor Posture is Painful
If you have a desk job or are just someone who finds yourself slouching a lot, you’ve probably experienced some back, neck or shoulder pain. That is because sitting actually puts pressure on our bones and joints. In fact, up to 90% more pressure is applied on your lower back when sitting vs. standing.
Poor Posture Can Deter Our Fitness Goals
Exercising is a key component in reversing the affects of long-term sitting. Likewise, maintaining good posture is a huge part of any fitness regimen. As mentioned, improper posture can take a serious toll on your spine, back, hips and knees. This can lead to a slew of other problems such as reduced flexibility and compromised muscles, which limits the ability to burn fat and build strength.
That was enough negative talk. Let’s move on to the good stuff. When you practice “good” posture, positive healthy benefits include but are not limited to:
- Properly aligned bones and joints
- Pain relief (ie: back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain)
- Reinforced confidence
- Improved digestive health
- Reduced stress
- Fewer headaches
- A stronger core
- Improved memory
How to Improve Your Posture
- Strengthen your core: From standing, walking, vacuuming, and sitting, pretty much anything you do in an upright position requires core strength. That being said, core strength and posture go hand in hand. Work on strengthening your core by performing simple exercises everyday. Plank variations are a great place to start!
- Set reminders: Set reminders for yourself to check your posture, stand up, or walk round. Set up reminders on your smart phone to alert you every hour or 2, and straighten up if needed. This will help train your body to eventually maintain proper posture on its own. Many activity trackers also offer this feature.
- Get a New Chair: The type of chair we use at home or work can make a huge difference in our posture. Invest in a chair that has a firm, high back.
- Change the way you sit: Whether we’re driving, at work, or sitting down for dinner, many of us are oblivious to how we’re sitting. Try sitting with your back straight, and your hips as close to the back of the chair or seat as possible. Keep your thighs parallel with the floor.
- Stand more: Get a StandDesk: The best way to ensure you’re standing enough (especially for those nine-to-fivers) is to stand while working. Not only will your posture improve, but we’re confident you’ll also see an increase in productivity. : As we work, we sit more than we do anything else. And as we sit, we hunch, slouch and put pressure on our spine. Standing will alleviate some of this pressure and improve our overall posture. And it does more than just that! Standing for just 3 hours a day 5 days a week is equal to 8 lbs of fat burned per year.
How many hours a day do you sit? What do you do to make sure you’re staying active?