Firstly let start with what "Posture" actual is.
Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright while standing, sitting or laying down. Good posture involves training the body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles, joints and ligaments.
Good Posture makes you not only look great, feel more energetic but also project confidence. It also helps prevent injury and reduce pain which can become chronic over time.
We all want good posture... but it can be so hard to achieve. That's because acquiring good posture involves not only learning new movements and positions, but changing life-long habits.
Just knowing how to correct your posture is not enough to achieve a change in your actual habit. Our body uses learnt motor patterns to perform everyday activities. When we sit, stand, walk or move - our body follows previously learnt motor patterns. If your body has learned to slouch - that's what it will do. Your Posture support brace will help get your posture back on track and will take a lot of the hard work out of the process.
But before we get into it, here’s some motivation for you. Most of us are totally unaware how important proper posture really is. Sure we’ve all been told to sit up or stand up straight. But why?
It’s pretty obvious looking around these days that most of us don’t truly know or don’t care. As most of us spend the majority of our days sitting at a desk, eyes fixed to a computer screen without even a second thought about how bad our ‘slouching or hunched” shoulders really are for our health.
Do you want the Good or the Bad News?
Let’s start with the bad, below are some of the negative effects of poor posture.
The most common effect of poor posture is sore muscles. As you slouch, your back and neck muscles have to work harder to keep the spine stabilized and protected. The extra work on these muscles can cause muscle tightness and fatigue. This can lead to chronic issues with tight and sore muscles from the neck all the way down to the lower back.
Did you know that for every inch the head moves forward in improper posture, its weight on your neck and upper back muscles increases by 10 pounds? Wow! That weight you feel on your shoulders at work, chances are it’s your head.
For example, a human head weighing 12 pounds held forward only 3 inches from the shoulders results in 42 pounds of pressure on the neck and upper back muscles. That's the equivalent of almost three watermelons resting on your neck and back!
Another one of the most common side effects of bad posture is nerve constriction. As the spine changes its shape, these changes can put additional pressure on the surrounding spinal nerves. Nerves that connect to the spine come from all over your body, meaning a pinched nerve can cause not only neck and back pain but may also cause pain in other unrelated areas such as legs and feet.
One of the most serious issues that can occur with bad posture is developing a spinal curvature. According to the Chiropractic Resource Organization, the human spine has four natural curves that make up an "s" shape. When bad posture is practiced, the spine can experience pressure, slowly influencing the spine curves to change their positions. The spine is specifically designed to help absorb shock and keep you balanced, but as the spinal position changes, this ability can become less effective.
As bad posture changes the alignment of your spine, the resulting movement and subluxations can cause problems with blood vessel constriction. The constriction of the blood vessels around the spine can cut off blood supply to the cells in your muscles, which can affect nutrient and oxygen supply. Blood vessel constriction can also raise your chances of a blood clot and issues with deep vein thrombosis.
Sitting all day with poor posture is one of the worst things you can do for your health. By remaining in hunched position for a long period of time, your digestive organs become compressed and not capable of functioning optimally.
This is bad for the digestive process, as it is dramatically slowed down, potentially leading to discomfort, constipation, or delayed metabolic conversion.
Bad posture has been proven to have a negative effect on mood. Those who sit for extended periods of time report higher levels of depression. Those who sit for more than 7 hours per day are at a 47% higher risk of depression than those who sit for 4 hours or less.
When you remain seated your external and internal processes are slowed and your energy levels also decrease, further depleting your overall mood.
Hunching and therefore compressing your body is bad for breathing, which in turn affects the nervous system. To compensate for this constriction, our lungs and heart have to work harder causing added stress on your body.
Sit upright with broad shoulders and an open chest to allow you to breathe easier and also increases hormone levels making you feel more empowered which further decreases stress and boosts your mood.
That’s enough of the bad stuff, as you can see maintaining Proper Posture is really important for both your physical and mental health.
In the animal kingdom posture is often the primary representation of power. Many of us have heard of Amy Cuddy’s famous ‘Power Posing.’ Amy found that open, expansive postures reflect high power while narrow, closed postures reflect low power. These poses not only display power, but can actually produce it. People with high power poses have increased feelings of dominance, risk-taking, and power as well as reduced anxiety.
Needless to say, being upright does wonders for your appearance. You look taller, slimmer and more successful when you sit and stand tall with good posture. It is imperative to making a good first impression. A study by researchers at Ohio State University found that sitting upright actually reinforced confidence. Upright participants felt confidence in their thoughts whereas slumped participants were more unsure of their themselves.
Sitting upright makes you more alert, concentrated, and productive. The reason is that when you slouch, your body takes in as much as 30% less oxygen than you’d take in with good posture. This means that when you slouch, it is much harder to keep your energy up.
So turns out maintaining an upright posture touches almost every aspect of our lives, from our appearance, health, productivity and even our mood.
Sitting all day is really not a good thing for your body and your posture. But there is a simple fix!! GET UP! Go for a quick walk, get your muscles and joints moving again.
Standing with the correct posture not only looks and feels better but it's healthy for your muscles, joints, circulation and self-esteem.
If we had to give you one tip about great standing posture it would be to "Stand Tall"! All the muscles that you need to push you taller are the same ones that improve your posture.
Hold your head up straight with your chin in. Do not tilt your head forward, backward or sideways.
Stand against a wall with shoulders and bottom touching the wall. In this position, the back of the head should also touch the wall - if it does not, the head is carried too far forward.
If neck and shoulder pain is a real problem for you then frequent breaks from sitting and some quick and easy realignment exercises can help your muscles and joints from getting tight and stuck in a hunched or slouched position.
The Chin Tuck can help reverse forward-head posture by strengthening the neck muscles.
This exercise can be done sitting or standing. Start with your shoulders rolled back and down. While looking straight ahead, place two fingers on your chin, slightly tuck your chin and move your head back. Hold for the tuck for 3-5 seconds and then release. Repeat this 10 times.
Get into the habit of doing this one in your car while waiting at the traffic lights in your car.
Move the back of your head into the headrest for 3-5 seconds. Do 15-20 repetitions.
Stretch those chest muscles out and push your shoulders back. Stand with your back against a wall with your feet about four inches from the base. Maintain a slight bend in your knees. Your glutes, spine and head should all be against the wall.
Bring your arms up with elbows bent so your upper arms are parallel to the floor and squeeze your shoulder blades together, forming the letter "W". Hold for 3 to 5 seconds.
Next, straighten your elbows to raise your arms up to form the letter “Y.” Make sure not to shrug your shoulders to your ears. Repeat this 10 times, starting at “W,” holding for 3 seconds and then raising your arms into a “Y.” Do 2-3 sets.
This exercise loosens those tight chest muscles even more.
Using a door way, lift your arm so it's parallel to the floor and bend at the elbow so your fingers point toward to the ceiling. Place your hand side of the door way.
Slowly lean into your raised arm and push against the doorjamb for 7-10 seconds. Relax the pressure and then press your arm against the doorjamb again, this time coming into a slight lunge with your legs so your chest moves forward past the doorjamb for 7-10 seconds. Repeat this stretch two to three times on each side.
Sitting for long period is terrible stuff for your lower back, and hips. Your hip flexors can become tight and painful and even shorten over a longer period of time. Do your hip flexors a big favour and stretch them out. If you suffer from lower back pain, while sitting tight hip flexors can often be a source of your problems. Over exaggerating the arch in your lower back.
Kneel onto your right knee with toes down, and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you.
Place both hands on your left thigh and press your hips forward until you feel a good stretch in the hip flexors.
Contract your abdominals and slightly tilt your pelvis back while keeping your chin parallel to the floor. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds, and then switch sides.
The next two exercises require a resistance band:
Seated rows help strengthen your upper back muscles, especially the ones between your shoulder blades (the rhomboids).
Sit on the floor with your legs extended forward. Place the middle of the resistance band around the bottom of your feet and cross one side over the other to form an "X".
Grasp the ends of the band with your arms extended in front of you.
Pull the ends of the band toward your hips, bending your elbows so they point backward. Hold and slowly return. Do 8-12 repetitions for three sets.
Doing this exercise is a great one for decreasing your neck and shoulder pain and improving your posture.
While standing, stagger your feet so one is slightly behind the other. Grasp the handles, or the ends of the resistance band and lift your arms upward and slightly outward away from your body about 30 degrees.
Keep a slight bend in your elbows. Stop at shoulder level; hold and return.
Make sure to keep your shoulder blades down and back straight. Repeat this exercise for 2 minutes each day, five days a week.
On behalf of myself and Matt at Armstrong Amerika I hope that this short guide has been helpful for you and that there are some exercises that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
Along with the use of your Posture Support Brace I’m sure you will have beautiful confident posture with decreased shoulder and neck pain in no time.
Again here at Armstrong Amerika I’d love to hear your feedback and results. Make sure if you have any questions or I can help you out with anything please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help you out.
And remember to check out all our amazing deals anything Pain Relief Related.
Wishing you a fantastic day!