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Why good posture matters - Harvard Health

Good Posture Signs

  • chin parallel to the floor
  • shoulders even (roll your shoulders up, back, and down to help achieve this)
  • neutral spine (no flexing or arching to overemphasize the curve in your lower back)
  • arms at your sides with elbows straight and even
  • abdominal muscles braced
  • hips even
  • knees even and pointing straight ahead
  • body weight distributed evenly on both feet.

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Why good posture matters - Harvard Health

Why good posture matters - Harvard Health

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/why-good-posture-matters

health.harvard.edu

4

Key Ideas

Simple Ways To Fix Posture

  • Balance-specific workouts address posture and balance problems.
  • Quick posture checks in the mirror before and during balance exercises can help you get the most from your regular workout.
  • Increasing your core strength and flexibility can help you improve your posture noticeably in just a few weeks.
  • Adjust your sitting position. 

Good Posture Signs

  • chin parallel to the floor
  • shoulders even (roll your shoulders up, back, and down to help achieve this)
  • neutral spine (no flexing or arching to overemphasize the curve in your lower back)
  • arms at your sides with elbows straight and even
  • abdominal muscles braced
  • hips even
  • knees even and pointing straight ahead
  • body weight distributed evenly on both feet.

Musculature Fitness And Posture

  • Muscles with reduced flexibility limit your range of motion and over time it may lead to posture issues.
  • The "core muscles" of the back, side, pelvis, and buttocks form a sturdy central link between your upper and lower body. Imbalances in one muscle affect the others.
  • Weak core muscles encourage slumping, which tips your body forward and thus off balance, while strong lower leg muscles also help keep you steady when standing.

Why Good Posture Matters

By standing up straight, you center your weight over your feet. This also helps you maintain correct form while exercising, which results in fewer injuries and greater gains.

Poor posture isn't necessarily a bad habit, either. It may be the consequence of muscular issues.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The P.A.U.L. method (10 minutes)
The P.A.U.L. method (10 minutes)

Choose one exercise for each of the following four categories:

  • P- Plyometric cardio (e.g., Jumping Jacks)
  • A- Abs (e.g., Plank)
  • U- Upper Body (e.g., Push-Ups)
A HIIT circuit (beginners and advanced)
  • Jumping Jacks: 20 reps or 40 reps
  • Squat: 10 reps or 20 reps
  • Incline push-up: 10 seconds or 20 seconds
  • Plank: 30 seconds or 40 seconds
  • Single-Leg Glute Bridge: 5 reps each leg or 10 reps each leg

Complete this circuit three times with a 30-second rest between each round.

The 3-HIIT wonder (10 minutes)
  • 40 Speed Skaters
  • 10 Floor Burpees
  • 15 Leg Lift + Hip Lift

Set a timer for 10 minutes and complete the circuit as many times as possible with little to no rest over the course of those 10 minutes.

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Get the Wii Fit

... to play games that require balancing and movement. 

Playing any games while standing up is also an alternative, as sitting all day is bad for us.

Test Your Posture

Test your back and neck posture against a wall or check proper posture illustrations to find any areas you need to work on when standing. 

Be more aware of your feet when you’re standing and adjust your weight so it’s distributed evenly across both feet.

Core Strengthening Exercises

Do pilates and other core strengthening exercises to help you stand taller and maintain a proper posture. 

Yoga also does that and emphasizes body awareness and balance.

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How we're sitting
How we're sitting

The childhood advice of sitting up straight, shoulders back, is incorrect.

Sitting this way takes effort. We end up arching our backs by tensing up our muscles. When we tighten them, we...

The tendency to slump

If you tend to slump, you need to learn to lengthen your back. Use the time that you're sitting to stretch yourself against the backrest.

  • Sit with your bottom well back in your chair while moving your upper body away from the backrest.
  • Place your fists on the front lower border of your rib cage, then gently push back on your rib cage so as to elongate your lower back.
  • Then, grab some place of your chair and make yourself taller by gently pushing the top of you away from the bottom.
  • In that position, put your back against the chair's backrest. Ideally, the chair would have some grippy thing mid-back to hold you.
A healthier back

For a healthier back, develop the "inner corset" core strength: the group of core muscles that support your spine. Crunches are not the best exercises for this purpose as they also crunch your discs and nerves.

You should engage particular muscles deep in the abdomen and back; then your muscles can take care of your back.

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Mood And Posture

The more time a person spends in a bad posture, the more the body’s muscles and ligaments embrace it as normal. 

Human emotion and cognition are closely linked to body posture. And th...

Consequences Of Bad Posture
  • Slouching promotes low mood, decreased energy levels and can even impair student performance on a math test.
  • Upright posture is linked with improved mood and energy levels among people with symptoms of depression.
  • The bent-over posture associated with smartphone use could hamper breathing and impair respiratory function.
Combating Bad Posture
  • Switch up your desk setup in ways that promote proper posture.
  • Pulling exercises will strengthen them your back muscles, but upright or bent-over rows are ideal.
  • Planks, push-ups, dead lifts and other exercises that make you hold your body in a rigid position help develop posture as they activate your core and stabilizer muscles.
  • Glute bridges help to increase strength and flexibility of hips and that promotes stable movement and posture.
  • Limit “flexion” exercises that involve curling your spine into a C-shape. 
  • If you spend the bulk of your week sitting with poor posture a few hours of exercise won’t fix it. 
Calisthenics
Calisthenics

Calisthenics is a form of fitness consisting of different movements that exercise large muscle groups: running, standing, grasping, pushing, etc.
You don't rely on anything but a person's own...

Get your body ready

Before you start doing any exercises, make sure you're all warmed up.
Do 5-10 minutes of cardio, just to get your heart rate up a bit.
Motivation tip: Listening to music can help you feel motivated throughout your workout.

Mountain climbers

Muscles worked: abs, obliques, quads, hamstrings, deltoids, biceps, triceps, and the chest.
Start off in the standard push up position. Pull your knees up to your chest, one at a time, in quick succession. You want to keep your body in a push-up position all the way through the exercise, so don't bob your hips up and down as you're tucking your legs in.  Do 20 seconds three times.

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Pull-Ups Power

Pull-ups are a great way to test your strength-to-weight ratio and build your core and upper-body power.

They require a simple overhead bar as equipment, which is easily available.

Pull-Up by Machine Assist

Some people are unable to do pull-ups, even on a pull-up assist machine in the gym.

The 'assist' part of the pull-up aid machine might be the reason for the inability, as it can act as a 'crutch'.

Our Mind is the Obstacle

Many of us are stopped from being able to do pull-ups is our mistaken belief that we can't do itThe notion inside our mind that we can't do a pull-up is a major reason for our incapacity to do it.

Another reason most people cannot do pull-ups is the lack of regular practice. The gym-goers use equipment that narrows their muscle variations and doesn't replicate the real action of a pull-up.

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Your workspace matters
Your workspace matters
When you spend hours at your desk every day, even the smallest features of your workspace – such as the position of your monitor or the height of your chair– can greatly affect your productivity and e...
Lighting
  • The best kind of light you can have in your office is natural light. It helps our bodies maintain our internal "clocks" or circadian rhythms which affects our sleep and energy. 
  • Poor lighting, whether it's dim lighting or harsh lighting from overhead fluorescent lights, can cause eye strain, stress, and fatigue.
  • Don't sit with your back to a window unless you can shade it.
  • Don't sit facing a window because that will make reading a monitor difficult. 
  • If you use a task lamp at your desk, position it so the bottom of the lampshade is at about the height of your chin when it's on.
Plants
  • Indoor plants prevent fatigue during attention-demanding work. 
  • Even just having a window view of live greenery can be restorative and keep us focused.
  • A peace lily plant requires little sunlight to survive and you only have to water it when the soil is dried out and is also great for cleaning the air.
  • Cacti and aloe plants are other low-maintenance plants to consider.

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Breathing Techniques for Muscle Tension Relief
Breathing Techniques for Muscle Tension Relief
  1. Stand up straight and bend forward at the waist. Bend knees slightly, letting your arms hang limply, close to the floor.
  2. Inhale slowly and deeply, and return to a stan...
Breathing Techniques for Side Pain

Practicing deep “belly breathing” can reduce the stress on the supporting ligaments of the diaphragm and can help relieve side stitches. 

Belly breath: Lie down on the floor and place a hand on your belly. Breathe deeply. If you feel your hand rise and fall slightly with your breathing, you’re belly breathing. If your chest is moving instead of your stomach, you’re not breathing deeply enough, and need to adjust.  

Breathing Techniques for Increased Energy
  1. Sit up tall, and relax your shoulders. 
  2. Keep your mouth closed and inhale rapidly through your nose with quick, short breaths (exhale quickly as well). 
  3. Try doing that for about 10 seconds
  4. Take a 15-30 second break and breathe normally. Repeat several times.

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Finding the right rope
Finding the right rope
  • Picking the right rope starts with the handles. Most have a mechanism that allows the rope to rotate in the grips.
  • Consider your height. Some rope...
The proper fit

Once you have the rope on hand, place the middle of the rope underneath the arch of one foot.

Stand straight up, pull the cable up vertically while holding the handles parallel to the ground, so their size is excluded from the measurement. The ends of the cables should be even with, or below, the bottom of your sternum.

The correct hand position
  • Your hands should be in front of your pelvis - generally the middle of your body - or near where your pockets are.
  • Your elbows should be slightly bent.
  • Your hands should not be too far away from your body out to the sides as it makes the rope shorter.
  • Your hands should be positioned so that your thumbs are towards the outside of your body, with your forearms facing forwards.
  • Lightly grip each handle between your thumb and index finger.
  • Once you're jumping, move your hands in "tight circles."

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