Most of us intuitively realize that maintaining good posture is important. But throughout the day, we slouch and allow ourselves to slip back into bad old habits. When you become aware of your own posture sins, you may be inclined to correct them – but how can you get more consistent about maintaining good posture throughout the day?
Why Is Good Posture So Important?
First, let’s explain why good posture is so important:
- Long-term health. Maintaining a better posture is good for your long-term health. Proper body alignment will minimize the stress faced by your joints, muscles, and spine, thus minimizing the chance of an injury. You’ll also reduce your chances of facing chronic pain later in life. On top of that, some studies suggest that keeping a better posture can boost your mood, improving your mental and emotional wellness as well.
- Productivity. Have you ever noticed that the people with the best posture also happen to be some of the best performers? That’s no coincidence. Evidence suggests that keeping better posture can lead to higher productivity.
- Confidence. Strike a pose with good posture and make yourself feel as big as possible. Do you feel a sudden surge in confidence? Research suggests that the way we carry ourselves can dictate how we feel about ourselves; in other words, maintaining an upright, confident posture will make you feel more confident. Whether you’re negotiating for a higher salary or are just solving a tough problem for a client, that extra confidence can help.
- Image. Additionally, keeping a good posture is good for your image. People around you, including bosses, clients, and coworkers, will see you as more professional, more confident, and even more trustworthy. It’s a small effect – but one worth striving for.
So what does it take to achieve good posture throughout the day if you’re not used to maintaining it?
The Right Furniture
One of the best moves you can make is investing in the right furniture from a trustworthy furniture store. With the right pieces of furniture in place, it will be much easier to maintain a healthy, appropriate posture throughout the day.
You’ll need to consider things like:
- Height. Both your desk and your chair need to be an appropriate height. If you’re stuck with something that’s too tall or too short for you, good posture will be nearly impossible.
- Adjustability. Even if you have something appropriately sized, it pays to have a degree of adjustability, so you can make little tweaks if and when necessary.
- Shape. Some pieces of furniture are specifically designed to be ergonomic and support good posture. Pay attention to the shape of what you’re buying.
- Comfort. You’ll also want to consider the objective comfort you feel when sitting with a good posture in this chair.
Once you have the right chair and desk in your office, you may gravitate toward keeping good posture naturally.
Regular physical exercise has the power to improve your posture naturally. There are also some specific exercises that are designed to make it easier to maintain good posture. No matter what, you’ll be working out your muscles so they’re stronger and more stable; once you do that, your body will naturally be more inclined to remain in a healthy position.
Some of the best exercises include core exercises, like stabilization exercises, sit-ups, and crunches, back exercises, like rows and pull-ups, and running.
Even if you’re in great shape and you have the right furniture in place, there are moments where your posture will drift. Over time, due to fatigue or lack of awareness, you may slouch into an inferior posture. When this happens, it’s important to snap your attention back to your posture and deliberately “fix” it.
But how do you do this if your posture slips without your notice? One of the best options is to set a regular alarm, at least in the beginning. Set an automatic reminder or alert every 15 minutes as a “check-in” to see how your posture is doing. This might be annoying at first, especially if you’re getting caught with improper posture, but the goal is to eventually make “good posture” you’re automatic go-to. After a few days of these short-burst auto check-ins, you can lengthen the time between each notification. After a few weeks, you may not need them at all.
Keeping the Habit
Once good posture becomes the default and it’s abnormal for you to slip into bad posture, it will be hard to break the habit. Getting started is the most challenging part of the process. Work diligently to ensure you get started with the right momentum – and don’t be discouraged if it takes several weeks, or even longer, to get used to your new good habits.