We rarely think about what constitutes a good posture or bad posture. “For most of us, posture is a subconscious habit, instead of something we actively pay attention to,” says physiotherapist Marcus Dripps. And it’s more than just standing up straight. “There are two types of posture. Your static posture: how you hold yourself when you’re sitting or standing. And your dynamic posture: the posture you use when you’re doing something active, like walking.”
Having good posture can help lower stress levels, give you more energy, confidence, and fewer headaches. It can also help with less neck and lower back pain, and give you better tolerance to pain. The list goes on and on.
From a psychological point of view, adopting a posture that opens up the body makes it seem like you take up more physical space. This has a psychological knock-on effect. It helps you behave in a way that makes you look like you’re in charge. US researchers say the tactic also convinces the people around you that you’re worthy of their respect. Sitting upright when you’re faced with a stressful situation can make you more resilient to the effects of stress. New Zealand researchers who made the discovery says sitting up straight helps to instantly boost self-esteem and improve mood.
Then from the physical standpoint. Research has linked the degree to which you sit with “forward head posture” (that hunched-over, head-out posture you slip into when you’re struggling to read something on a computer screen) with more frequent, longer-lasting headaches. And Canadian researchers say an expansive powerful posture increases your pain threshold by boosting the production of testosterone.
These five strategies will give you good posture and improve the impact it has on your health.