“Sit up straight!” It’s not just an annoying thing our parents and teachers used to tell us—it’s actually good advice for our health. The term “posture” refers to the position in which we hold our bodies. We rely on our postural muscles to maintain balance, prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us forward, and move in ways that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments.
Many of us spend our entire workday in a relatively static position, so it’s important that our bodies are positioned correctly. In this post, we highlight the benefits of correct posture and offer exercises to help you improve your posture at work.
Numerous factors can contribute to poor posture, including tight or weak muscles, stress, obesity, and wearing unsupportive shoes. Poor posture can lead to back pain, breathing problems, and headaches—and it can even impact mood.
It’s important to recognize that posture can have a profound impact on your health and well-being, as well as your ability to thrive at work. Improving your posture may provide the following benefits:
1. Increased Confidence
Correcting your posture can impact the way you feel about yourself. Studies have shown that students who held an upright, confident posture were much more likely to have confidence in their thinking—and performed better on math tests. Feeling more confident in your ideas at work will ultimately help you succeed.
2. More Energy
Poor posture can negatively affect energy levels, resulting in fatigue. Practicing good body alignment may help you remain focused and energized at work. Whether you’re delivering packages or caring for patients, correct posture can allow you to power through the day more easily.
3. Greater Self-Esteem and Better Mood
In addition to giving you more energy, better posture can also reduce depressive feelings and improve your self esteem and mood. Feeling good about your professional life often starts with feeling positive about yourself.
4. Easier Breathing
When the body is aligned correctly, it’s easier to breathe. Slouching can reduce lung capacity, leading to shortness of breath. Having difficulty breathing can impact your ability to do your best work. To breathe more life into your lungs and career, try altering your posture.
5. Less Frequent Headaches
Bad posture creates tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulders, leading to headaches, that manifest as throbbing pain in the base of the skull and sometimes the forehead. Headaches are no fun, so this is an incentive to have good posture.
6. Reduced Risk of Injury
Proper posture can help you avoid injury, especially to your back, shoulders, arms, and wrists. One of the most common reasons people se a doctor or miss work is back pain. It’s particularly important to have good standing posture, as standing for long periods of time is associated with short term adverse health issues, such as back pain, fatigue, and leg cramps.
7. Boosted Productivity
Research shows that posture impacts productivity. If you’re in pain, injured, or fatigued, or if you lack self-confidence, you will likely have trouble staying focused and productive at work. Because improving your posture can positively impact your mental and physical health, it enables you to be a more productive member of the team.