Posture and Positivity – Well Being Tip That Works

Rodin's sculpture "The Three Shades"

We live in a world where most developed nations (and many undeveloped ones) use technology daily.

Holy Family
The infant Jesus helps Joseph with his neck problems. A delightful family group I photographed in the Musee de Cluny, Paris

It burst on an unsuspecting world like a supernova and has been expanding ever since.

In fact it has moved so fast we did not have time to make up courtesy rules about its use or give much thought about its impact on our bodies.

This post recommends two things that you can do that can have a major impact on your physical and even mental well being.

Focus on your posture

Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac
The Comte de Montesquiou-Fézensac demonstrates the correct posture to avoid neck pain and possible spinal deformity.

This is not a joke. The old “Chest Out Shoulders Back” advice of the past was not so off the mark.

Research has found that, due to technology use, many people (particularly young people) develop rounded shoulders and slumping postures through bending over computers, tablets and other devices. This can become permanent.

Go to any train station these days and you will see the other common posture problem, “chicken head” or people projecting their heads forward staring down at their phones as they wait for the train.

Why are these things bad?

Le Penseur, The Thinker. Rodin
Le Penseur (The Thinker in the garden of the Musee Rodin, Paris. How can his internal organs function effectively all crushed up like that?

Studies show that mood is affected by posture. If you sit or stand in a slumped and unsupported way your mood is likely to be lower than those who stand straight with shoulders raised and back. You are also likely to feel more tired, and the act of slouching forward puts added pressure on your back and internal organs which causes your body to work harder to maintain its functions. Classic symptoms of this include sore necks, shoulders, back pain and even internal abdominal pain.

Projecting your neck forward to peer at your phone, tablet or kindle can lead to permanent changes in your spine and places a lot of added pressure on the vertebrae in the neck. Aside from looking odd you are actually training your spine to develop a permanent forward projection. Not great unless you are particularly fond of looking at only your knees in later life.

monkey
Get that monkey off your back! Sit up straight!

So what can you do?

Just do these two simple things which are not magic medical miracles or require you to send off for “My  unique and special programme in 500 easy installments”

  1. Consciously pull your head back when you sit and stand. Pull you chin in and keep your neck in line with the rest of your spine. You may feel strange doing it at first which means you are already a bit of a “chicken header”. Hold up devices to read them rather than lean over them. get a stand for your computer that allows you to look at it without leaning forward. This exercise is not something you do for a certain amount of time. You should try to maintain this posture all the time.
  2. Straighten up. The best bit of advice about how to stop the neck-pain inducing techno-slouch and to straighten up properly is to think of a wire attached to the top of you head pulling you upward. Act as though you are letting it pull you up. As you do this you will notice the rest of your body taking on a better shape. Your shoulders naturally move back and your abdomen flattens out. Try to consciously maintain this stance when you stand or walk or sit at a desk.

These two simple tips can make a wonderful difference to your overall physical well being and can help raise your mood too.

It requires a conscious effort to maintain good posture but it is worth it and it is not hard to do for the benefits it leads to.

Give it a try.

If you have any other handy posture tips please share them in the comments.

If you found this post useful then please share it with others. This is advice worth sharing.

Here is a youtube link to a simple description of some exercises you can do. (This is just one of many videos available but I just liked her simple way of explaining it)

 

 

 

 

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