“Stand up straight!” my mother used to say as she’d come up behind me and grasp my shoulders, pulling them back as she put her knee into my lower back. Used to drive me nuts.
She did have a point, though. Beside looking terrible, poor posture can cause neck, back, and leg pain.
Slouching is an easy habit to get into, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting–your rear end almost always ends up sliding forward in the chair, putting undue pressure on your lower back.
When you slouch while standing, your head moves forward, in front of your body. You can’t see your profile, but next time you’re in front of a mirror, take a peek.
For every inch the head is forward of your body, its weight falls on your neck and upper back muscles. Your head weighs roughly 10-11 pounds–that’s a lot of pressure.
If your head is three inches in front of your shoulders, there are 30 pounds of pressure on your neck and upper back. No wonder your back hurts.
Posture affects how you walk, sleep, sit, and stand. Improper alignment creates continuous tension and can lead to muscle and head aches.
Proper posture prevents fatigue and wear-and-tear on ligaments and joints. It is important for good blood circulation and full breathing. You should know what good posture looks like so you have something with which to compare what you see in the mirror:
If you’re a sloucher, here are some exercises that will transform your bad posture habit into a better-looking, more healthful one–and keep your mother off your back.