A Guide to Good Health

4 Reasons Good Posture Matters

Posture is how people carry their body, whether standing, sitting, or at rest lying down. If one of your elders ever told you to "Stand up straight," you probably already suspect that good posture is important to your health and wellness. Here are four reasons why your posture is important.

Good Posture Helps You Maintain Your Balance

When you don't stand up straight, your body is off kilter. This can make you more prone to slips and falls. Falling puts you at risk of breaking a bone, such as your hip. Losing your balance and slipping can put you at risk of pulling a muscle or your back going out.

Serious slips and falls often require months of physical therapy to recover sufficiently. You may even not be able to work, drive, or take care of your normal daily activities, such as bathing, housekeeping, and preparing meals without additional assistance.

Good Posture Sends a Projects a Positive Self-Image

Good posture is about more than just standing up straight. People judge others by their appearance whether you like it or not. Humans are visual creatures, and first impressions matter. When you have poor posture, people may interpret your slouching as laziness, insecurity, unfriendliness, or a generally poor attitude. When you stand and sit up straight, people are more likely to view you as confident and approachable.

Good Posture Looks Better

In addition to the image you convey to others, good posture affects how your body physically looks. Someone who is hunched over obviously doesn't look as attractive as someone who is standing erect. Conversely, if you stand with your back swayed and your hips out, any abdominal fat you have will be more prominent.

Good Posture Keeps Your Muscles Toned

Whether you are standing, sitting, or lying down, the position you hold your body in is training your muscles to act in a certain way. When you have good posture, your muscles develop muscle memory in the positions they are meant to be used. When you slouch, your muscles are being used in ways they weren't intended. This can lead to overuse and cause them to weaken rather than stay toned and taut. This puts your body at risk of injuries such as muscle pulls and tears. Weakened muscles from poor posture also adversely affect your abdominal muscles, which can affect the digestion process and your urinary system. People who have been injured and spend a lot of time in bed also experience this muscle decline. Physical therapy that specifically targets your weakened muscles may be needed in severe cases.