Find out why you should listen to your mom the next time she tells you that you need to straighten your back
Did your mom ever tell you to sit properly? You should listen to her. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 80% of the total population suffers from back and neck pain. This pain is usually caused by poor posture while sitting, standing or lying down.
Leer en español: Siéntate bien: los beneficios de tener una buena postura
Other factors that contribute to poor posture, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), are: "stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles and high-heeled shoes." However, did you know that good posture has multiple benefits for both the health of your spine and your performance? Here we present some of them.
1. Better academic performance
According to a study by the San Francisco State University, conducted with 125 university students, good posture could contribute to a better performance in mathematics. "For people who are anxious about mathematics, posture makes a big difference." This is explained by the professor of education for health Erik Peper, according to Science Daily.
The study suggests that when a student has a twisted posture while performing stressful activities, such as a math test, the brain does not work as well as it would if sitting correctly.
Also "the athletes, musicians and public speakers can benefit from a better position before and during their performance". This is because good posture could help "optimize your attention".
In general, good posture has many benefits for both children and young people who spend long hours sitting in a classroom. This is because sitting well makes you feel more confident and have much more confidence in your skills, which could contribute to better academic performance.
2. Good posture in the workplace: benefits for physical and mental health
Currently, many people spend long hours sitting because of work. Good posture can also help you perform better in workspaces.
According to the Council for Disability Awareness, good posture in the workplace has multiple benefits for our physical and mental health. On the one hand, with a good posture will reduce the chances of suffering neck and back pain, "and eventually knees and hips."
In addition, "it provides ample space for the diaphragm and lungs to expand" by breathing and "aids digestion." On the other hand, sitting correctly in the workplace also reduces stress and can even help improve memory. This is because "sitting with good posture increases blood flow and oxygen in the brain."
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3. A healthier spine
Obviously, a better posture contributes to the health of our spine, the support that allows us to sit, stand and walk. That is why when sitting or standing it is important to have a correct posture. According to the ACA, a correct posture in any of these situations will help:
- "Keep the bones and joints in the correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wear of the surfaces of the joints."
- "Reduce stress on the ligaments that connect the spinal joints, minimizing the likelihood of injuries" because the muscles work efficiently. In this way, the body will use less energy, which will prevent "muscle fatigue".
What is having a good posture?
According to the ACA, "posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the correct amount of muscle tension against gravity." Many people, however, have bad habits when sitting, standing or lying down that misalign the body and cause back problems. Here are some tips to avoid bad posture:
- If you are sitting, for example, it is recommended to have your feet on the floor, not cross your legs, keep a small space between the seat and knees, relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel with the ground. Also, avoid remaining in the same position for a long time.
- On the other hand, if you are standing, try to make sure that your knees are slightly bent, that your arms hang naturally on your sides and keep the head level, that is, "with the earlobes in line with the shoulders". According to the ACA, avoid pushing your head back, forward or to the side.
- Finally, when trying to sleep, do so on your side with a pillow between your legs or on your back with a pillow under your knees, never sleep on your stomach.
LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from "Siéntate bien: los beneficios de tener una buena postura"