Posture is very important to both your physical health and confidence. If you slouch or hunch over often you’re actually putting stress on your body. Because poor posture affects your breathing you end up not getting enough oxygen to the different tissues of your body and therefore you end up functioning at a limited capacity. Take a moment right now to sit back where you are sitting, straighten up, roll your shoulders back, and try to take a deep breath by expanding your stomach. Was that easy? What you just did is proper diaphragmatic breathing. Below your lungs is a muscle called the diaphragm and when you take a deep breath the diaphragm pulls down to get more oxygen to your blood and organs.
Humans were meant to move. We were not designed to sit still for long periods of time day-in and day-out. Lack of movement can play a major factor in poor posture, especially if you sit at a desk most of the day. The result in the end will be that you will wind up either getting stiff or start to slouch. Getting in the habit of being aware of your posture will help prevent poor posture from developing in the first place.
Other ways of correcting your posture is to exercise regularly, maintain your weight through a healthy and well-balanced diet, and to get a good night’s sleep of at least seven hours. Also, therapeutic massage can help to relax muscles that tend to clench up after long periods of time or ease overly stressed muscles. A good example of this is desk workers that sit at a computer most of the day which causes their back to begin to arch, their head to go forward, and then boom! When this happens your muscles will either shorten/tighten or lengthen/weaken. This can be exasperating because when the lengthened/weak muscles have to engage in normal body function, they will protest, and this causes the short/tight muscles to overwork. This can be very painful and may even lead to the muscles cramping up or even worse, going into spasm. Massage therapy is scientifically proven to be very effective in helping to relax tight or spastic muscles.
Now if you really want to see improvement with your posture you should do some corrective strengthening exercises and remember to keep yourself as mobile as you can. Taking a one-minute break by getting up and stretching every 30 minutes can also make a world of a difference.
Fun Fact: Yoga/stability balls are excellent for posture by engaging the core and lower back muscles to help you stabilize. Just don’t replace your desk chair with a yoga/stability ball. Do three sets of one-minute holds on a ball while maintaining good upright posture.