Do you ever remember your parents or another family member telling you to ‘Sit up straight?’ Well it turns out that they were protecting you from more than just proper decorum. They may not have even known it but good posture is essentially how the human body works when it is most efficient but more than this; it has now been proven to promote a sense of mental wellbeing too! But exactly how does posture improve our state of mind and more importantly how can we achieve it?
Good digestion is the foundation for good health and that’s why it can have a clear and direct link with mental wellbeing. Your digestion is one of the first things to deteriorate when your health declines. One of the benefits of adopting a good seating position is that your rib cage will be freer and open ensuring that the digestion process is a smoother one. It also prevents stress which is normally the onset for irritable bowel syndrome.
Power = Posture
It is no coincidence that many people with likeminded characteristics are confident, assertive and seem to advance quickly in life. The common trait of these people is that they have a higher level of testosterone. The great thing is that testosterone levels can be altered through posture! Simply stand tall to exert more power. Another great thing to do is to sport a power pose. To do this, either raise both hand above your head and clinch your fists or have your feet positioned a shoulder length apart and place both hands on your hips. You may be surprised at the outcome.
By sitting or standing in an upright position more oxygen will be allowed to flow through the veins because of the widening of our airways. This will in turn, lead to proper and healthier breathing. Your blood will then be able to flow to all parts of the body at a more efficient rate meaning your bodily functions will improve as well as your mental capacity. It appears quite obvious really, the better postural position you are in, the higher oxygen supply you will receive.
If there was ever a reason for trying to persuade a company that you work for to invest in better quality seating then this is it! Good posture actually leads to increased concentration which inevitably means that you’re more productive. The fact is that those who sit correctly can take in as much as 30% more oxygen than those who continue to slouch. Therefore, when you are in more of crouched position, it is more difficult to maintain energy levels which often results in a loss of motivation.
Erik Peper, has carried out various experiments to test how posture can affects positive thought and energy levels. The study suggests that those that were sitting in a more upright position not only felt more energetic but tended to be happier too. In comparison, those that were slouched had higher feelings of isolation, sadness and loneliness. This is just one experiment that has concluded people with great posture are happier than those who haven’t.
Ways to promote good posture:
Now that it is clear to see that posture has a positive effect on mental wellbeing, it is important to try and identify ways in which we are able to achieve a good seating position. Anything from having the right piece of furniture to simply thinking about the way you are sitting will help you.
Mind over Matter:
This strategy of trying to achieve good posture is simply done by trying to think about the way you sit. For example, when you notice that you are slouching readjust your position to once again be in a good postural position. Over time, this will naturally develop into a habit and you won’t need to continually think about sitting upright as you will already be doing it!
It may sound overwhelmingly obvious but not many people actually know the correct way of attaining good posture. For example, when sitting you should ensure that your bottom is shuffled right to the back of your seat. The next thing you need to consider is that your legs are at a proper right angle at your knees. And the final thing to remember is that your armrests are in a position so that your shoulders are not under too much strain. These should again be at a right angle.
Lumbar Support Chair:
A quick fix for assisting you to achieve good posture is by investing in a quality high back or lumbar support chair. This is because these types of chairs are specially designed to help you achieve this very thing!
The reason many people do not sport good posture when sitting is because it requires a certain amount of effort to sit in this position but the fact is that this is only because the muscles around the spine have weakened because they are not being used.
Therefore, for many is essential to have a good back chair to be able to facilitate good posture and the proper support needed to achieve ultimate comfort.
Finally, by achieving your new found good postural sitting position; it will not only help your physical health but it will also improve your mental wellbeing.
Written by Max Lamont
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