Let’s keep it simple: how do you even pretend to have a relaxed and successful lifestyle if your whole body structure is crumbling to pieces?
Bad posture is a widespread cultural obstacle we face in our efforts to live a life of wellness. A good posture is defined as the alignment of body parts in relation to one another at any given moment, involving a harmonious interaction between bones, muscles, connective tissue, joints and neurons. It contributes to overall wellness and is also a form of communication that reveals your degree of confidence and self-esteem.
The following posture facts will help you cultivate a deeper awareness of your body whilst avoiding unnecessary health issues in the future.
Longer spine, longer life!
Our sitting habits have significant effects on our overall health. In fact, the way we sit is just as important as eating right, exercising and getting a good night’s sleep. A healthy spine provides you with the appropriate vehicle to reach your goals whilst doing things with more energy and less fatigue.
Take this as you new mantra: Slouch less, grow more!
Take breaks and reach higher
As opposed to what most people think, stretching is not just a dull pseudo-exercise for older people! What if you changed your beliefs about stretching and transformed this into a living metaphor of what you are trying to achieve? Think about reaching towards a goal – feel your whole body expand and make room for something new and exciting!
We recommend getting up and stretching frequently. At least every hour if you sit for long periods of time. If you want to try another exercise, here’s something simple:
Look up, lift your arms and reach up as if you were trying to touch the ceiling; breathe deeply and alternate your hands while lengthening every vertebrae from your lower back up to the tips of your fingers. Better still if you’re outdoors – reach for the clouds!
Use your sitting bones (they are there for a reason!)
Did you know that you have two small bones under your buttocks that are perfectly designed to support your back? The main reason we slouch is because we have forgotten about them! As a result, our pelvis and lower back have gradually sunk into our chairs. The good news is that you don’t have to go too far to change this habit: just take a look at how babies sit. They’re the best teachers of how to give weight down to the sitting bones while keeping the back straight and light. It’s time to re-discover and reclaim our anatomy!
Visualise your inner structure
The body is the temple of the soul, so why not keep this temple spacious and clear of clutter?
Take time to stop every once in a while and visualise your internal structure. Have you noticed that your spine is THE PLACE where your mind-body connection occurs?
Research has shown that mental imagery can have positive effects on biochemistry so we suggest visualizing your spine as a splendid and solid architecture with spacious gaps between each vertebrae. Take breaks to look out of the window and find inspiration from the massive dignity of trees.
Overall effects on bad posture
Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments, a person who has poor posture may often be tired or unable to work efficiently or move properly.
If the mechanics of your spine are not aligned properly it can affect you rib cage, which can damage your heart and lungs and may lead to gastrointestinal issues. Besides contributing to the normal functioning of the nervous system, good posture keeps your vital organs in the right position so they can function at peak efficiency. Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised.
Limited mobility and poor balance
A bad posture can significantly reduce your movement range, both in your lower and upper body. Plus, it has been proven that compressed vertebrae can lead to chronic back pain if not treated on time.
Suffering with headaches?
When you slouch your head and shoulders move forward. Slouching also forces your jaw which creates unnecessary tension on your temples, forehead and eyebrows.
Nerve interference, aging and lethargy
Since the spine is the main pathway for our nervous system, a bad posture causes nerve interference and as a result, people with bad posture tend to respond slower to their environment, which radiates a feeling of lethargy and apathy.
A bad posture will always make you look older!
There are many exercises that you can do to counter the effects of slouching, for example pilates, yoga and weight workouts that focus on the neck, shoulders, and back. Tightening and strengthening your core — the muscles closest to the spine – can also help improve your posture, making it easier for you to sit and stand up straight.
There’s nothing more empowering than standing up straight and speaking up. After all, having a straight spine has been a key contributor in the human evolution!
This top posture post has been written by massage expert, Daniel, who has been trained in mindfullness and meditation by Buddhist monks. He has facilitated workshops on wellbeing in Brazil, Colombia, Thailand and Bali. Daniel is an award winning massage therapist and yoga teacher. He works in London and can perform our Thai Yoga, Deep Tissue, Calming, Energising and Urban Classic treatments.
Who are we? We’re Urban Massage – on a mission to make wellness rituals convenient and accessible without compromising on quality. So from just £49 an hour, you can enjoy a range of massages from an expert therapist at a time to suit you. Download the app or go to urbanmassage.com to book 60 minutes of restorative me time.