Your mother was right – you need to stand up straight!
But not just because standing (or sitting) with your shoulders pulled back and your stomach pulled in makes you look taller, thinner and more confident. It turns out that good posture actually has some real health benefits as well.
First and most importantly, the simple act of sitting or standing up straight strengthens your spine. On the other hand, getting into the habit of hunching over, either in your chair at work or while you’re standing, can result in changes to the curvature of your spine that could be permanent. Since your spine is incredibly important to your overall health, keeping it strong and healthy should be a priority – and good posture is an excellent starting point.
Second, there’s pain – or more specifically, the avoidance of pain. All that hunching and scrunching puts pressure on your spine and your joints, and can lead to everything from headaches and muscle pain to arthritis to carpal tunnel syndrome. Taking a moment to adjust your posture and stand up straight can reduce some of that strain and pain instantaneously, while helping you avoid more serious issues later on down the line.
Last, but not least, is performance. Good posture keeps your body in proper alignment, and a properly aligned body is in the ideal position to perform at its peak. Whether you’re exercising, working or just hanging out and having fun, practicing good posture while you do it takes less energy, leads to less wear and tear on your body, and lets you keep doing whatever you’re doing longer and better.
So the next time your mother tells you to stand up straight, throw those shoulders back and stand a little taller.
And while we’re on the subject, it won’t hurt to eat your vegetables either.