A good reason not to slouch: poor posture actually accelerates the aging process according to Alice Chen, a psychiatrist at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery. It lowers lung capacity, interferes with digestion, and puts abnormal pressure on the spine. Here’s how to give yourself a much-needed lift:
Standing. Distribute your weight evenly on both feet keeping your pelvis and shoulders in line. Raise your chest and shoulders to maintain your spine’s natural s-shaped curve, and hold your head up so your ears are directly above your shoulders. If you are still unsure of the proper position, trainer Kathy Taehler suggests standing with your back against the wall and rotating your shoulder blades until they touch it — that’s your ideal posture.
Sitting. Hold your torso as you would if you were standing up straight. Position yourself near the front of your chair, with both feet flat on the floor, your weight on the back of your upper thighs, and your pelvis tilted slightly forward. ‘It’s like a tripod with your feet and your pelvis forming the three points,’ says physical therapist Eva Patchers.
Get Moving. Good posture is about more than standing and sitting correctly. Our bodies evolved to move. That’s why changing positions throughout the day is incredibly important for spine health. To help maintain a fluid erect stance, get up and walk around for a few minutes at least once an hour. And strengthen your core muscles with appropriate exercises.
At Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto, our expert therapists help to release unhealthy holding patterns and re-align your muscles and tissues so that you not only breathe better, but your sense of what is appropriate posture speaks to you more clearly.