Want good posture? Well you’re in the right place!
What good posture looks like.
Have you ever looked at someone and thought, wow, they’ve got great posture! Sure you have, but I bet it doesn’t happen very often, does it?
But I bet you’ve often found yourself thinking “Woah! That person’s posture is awful!”. That’s a much more common thing, and for good reason. Here’s why:
Good posture just looks normal, or good, it rarely looks great. Amazing posture is usually the reserve of film stars and sports stars, and for good reason…
A) They were born with good genes, good looks and good luck!
B) They are very image conscious and so spend a lot of time thinking about how they look in front of the cameras.
C) The nature of their jobs means they spend a lot of time working out and stretching.
D) You only see them when they’re performing, at their best. Not when they’re slouching down to the mall at 10am for some toilet paper and headache tablets.
E) And finally, amazing posture isn’t that great anyway. If you knew how stiff and sore the ballet dancers I’ve worked with get, you’d know what I mean!
But bad posture…
Bad posture (cue sounds of thunder and boo’s from the crowd), on the other hand, is easy to see, you’ll see it all around you. If you’re in public or at work right now, have a look around you and check everyone out. Ouch! Ugh! Ooh! Well, the chances are, you’re like that a lot of the time too, right? And you don’t have all day to go to the gym and stretch like the gym-bunnies do you? Thankfully, you can improve your posture without sweat and tears, and I’m here to help, so read on!
What good posture says about you
Good posture just feels good. It looks good, and basically it rocks! If you’ve got good posture, you’ll be feeling on top of the world. Other people will see you as confident, powerful, comfortable in your own skin, happy, richer (probably!), a better mate, a harder worker, likely to live longer. Oh my, the list goes on. In my line of work, the people I see with good posture tend to own a certain dignity. Their lives seem less stressful, and they seem better able to respond to life’s stresses. Lucky old them, we all want to be like them!
Will good posture make you taller?
Yep, a bit! Not a massive amount, but enough to make a difference. If you’ve got poor posture, you’ll be easily an inch or more shorter than you could be. It’s ironic, a lot of the older ladies I’ve worked with have bad posture because they used to try to hide themselves when they were younger, to take up less space and be shorter. They were tall teenage girls, and pulled down to fit in. But it hurts as they age, and they realise pulling down doesn’t hide them at all! It just makes them look worse. Oh the irony 🙁 As your posture improves you can expect to look taller, and many of you will be actually taller, which is great if you feel a little short!
Good posture for neck pain
If your neck hurts, the chances are it has hurt for a good time. The problem with neck pain is the soreness makes you tense. Then the tension makes you sore. And you get stuck in a cycle of soreness and tension. Then trying to hold your neck in a different posture is just adding more tension in – because neck muscles can only tense or release, and holding a new position means tensing your neck. So you’re down to three options: A) Learn good neck posture that isn’t tense B) Use a therapist to massage out the tension, or C) Use painkillers to relieve the pain. Even if you use B and C, you’ll keep needing to go back for help unless you learn A – good neck posture that isn’t tense.
How to have good posture for sitting at a desk
Sitting at a desk all day isn’t good for you, whichever way you look at it. But, let’s face it, it’s not like you get a lot of choice, is it? Nope.
So sitting well is the best option. You can spend a fortune on chairs and desks and gadgets, but sometimes it’s easier (and certainly cheaper) to learn how to sit well. Sitting well with good posture means less pain and more work done. Oh, and feeling human at the end of a long day!
My “good posture for sitting” training is easy to follow and you can apply it anytime, at work, in the car, on the train, wherever!
Good standing posture
The correct standing posture for one person won’t be the same for the next. Some people are large, some are small, some have large chests, some don’t. Some people have no butt, others really do got butt!
Trying to show someone a good standing posture using a picture is never going to work, for two reasons. Firstly, exactly what I just said above, and secondly, advice like that is really, really hard to translate. So you’re better learning a set of checks to test yourself to see if you’re standing correctly – so you can find those here.
Good posture for back pain
Back pain’s a funny one, unless it’s you who has it. I know people with terrible posture who get no back pain at all, and people with good posture who get terribly back pain. It’s no fair!
One thing I do see, time and again, is that back pain, the long-lasting, chronic type, is always accompanied by tension in the wrong places. Mum’s get it a lot, as do desk workers, and believe it not standing all day can be a recipe for back pain too. So you can find some easy tips to sort your back out here.
“I’ve tried good posture, but good posture hurts!”
This one’s easy – trying to stand up straight often ends in putting effort in an tightening the back in a way it’s not used to. Good back posture takes a neutral, lengthened and released spine, not a stiff, arched and tight spine! Here’s some training on standing and sitting in a good posture, with no effort. Ah, lovely!
Good posture for sleeping
I get asked this a lot. What’s the best position to sleep in? And my answer is a bit mean, “If you can get to sleep, that’s the best posture.”
I don’t mean to be glib at all, but trying to sleep in a different position isn’t easy. Sure, there are some positions that are better than others, and I can give you lots of advice about pillows, so if that’s your bag, find out more about sleeping posture.
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