If you created a list of things you should do to stay healthy, what would it look like? Perhaps your list might look something like this:
— Take vitamins
— Eat healthy, whole foods
— Sleep 6-8 hours per night
— Drink 8 glasses of water per day
While these activities should be priorities for people who want to stay healthy, there is one item that should be added to the list: achieve and maintain good posture.
Why Is Posture So Important?
It may be a surprise to you that posture should make it onto your “healthy activities” list. After all, importance is not usually placed on posture. However, posture is extremely important.
There are many reasons why having proper posture should be a priority; here are the top three:
1. Posture Prevents Work-related Injuries and Pain
It’s common to get injured in the workplace as a result of sitting at a desk all day or bending and stooping too much. These activities lend themselves to poor posture. When such activities are performed without proper posture, it puts you at risk for injury. Once you are injured, even if the injury is slight, pain will ensue. Work-related injury that leads to pain is a vicious cycle that won’t stop until good posture is learned.
2. Posture Improves Athletic Performance
A little-known fact about good posture is that it can improve athletic performance. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association says, “For recreational activities like golf, skating, yoga or running, posture actually plays an important role in performance.” Good posture maximizes sports performance by increasing flexibility and muscular balance. Poor posture throws off body alignment, prevents full extension of limbs, and decreases overall athletic performance.
3. Posture Affects Your Emotions
Have you ever known someone who had poor posture? What did you think about him or her? Posture is one of the first things people notice about us, and if we want to make a good impression on others, it’s important that we radiate self-confidence through our posture.
Posture doesn’t just affect how others perceive you – it also impacts your own emotions. Mandy Oaklander, writer for TIME, reported on a study that proved bad posture caused individuals to feel sad and afraid. Richard Petty, professor at Ohio State University, writes, “…it turns out that our posture can also affect how we think about ourselves. If you sit up straight, you end up convincing yourself by the posture you’re in.” Give yourself a confidence boost and change the way others perceive you by adopting better posture.
How to Get Perfect Posture
Contrary to popular belief, there is more to good posture than standing up straight. The BEST way to achieve good posture is to have your current posture assessed by a physiotherapist. According to the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, “Physiotherapists use a variety of techniques — including balance exercises, stability balls, stretches and other movement therapies — to improve posture and bring a patient’s body back to its full functional equilibrium.” Once a person’s posture is corrected by a physiotherapist, he or she will have a much lower risk of experiencing injury and pain, a higher potential for athletic performance and healthier emotions.
Do you want perfect posture? If so, give physiotherapy a try.