When we are young we often get reminded by parents and teachers to ‘sit up straight’. While it can be irritating to hear, this is a very important message. The benefits of good posture are immense and the costs of bad posture are high.

Having good posture is free. It makes you feel and look better immediately. It gives an impression of confidence, power and is a great boost to mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Having good postural alignment when sitting and standing enables you to work more efficiently with less tiredness and stress on your body’s muscles and ligaments. Like when changing any pattern, awareness of what good posture is, does and feels like is the first step to breaking bad postural habits.

Here are my 6 top benefits of good posture.

  1. Improved breathing

Bad posture can affect your breathing and lung capacity. When you slouch regularly, your frontal muscles and tendons shorten, which reduces your capacity to take deep breaths. Good posture can improve your breathing ability by up to a staggering thirty percent!  Given the importance of breathing to life, this has so many other consequences and benefits for your health and wellbeing.

  1. Boost your mood and energy levels

Various Research shows that having a more upright posture improves your mood and energy levels. Changing your posture changes your breathing, mood and makes you more optimistic even helping you overcome depression and anxiety. When feeling low, correcting your posture is a great start to lifting your mood and self-esteem.

  1. Relief from back pain

Back pain is a debilitating problem that affects 80% of the US population, according to the US Chiropractic Association. Proper posture helps keep your bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles properly aligned, which can prevent, minimize and relieve back pain and minimize loss of energy. Good posture can even change the anatomical characteristics of your spine, leading to less stress and more open vessels and nerves. Good posture also stops the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.

  1. Improved muscle health

Correct posture strengthens muscles. Poor posture further strains sensitive muscles and soft tissues. Sitting and standing correctly, strengths your core, buttock muscles, and back extensions while relieving unnecessary tension. Proper posture distributes the force of gravity evenly throughout your muscles, so no structure is over-stressed.

  1. Improved appearance

Good Posture makes you look good!  It inspires confidence, power and can even make you look a half a stone lighter and while adding inch or more to your height. Models and famous personalities and politicians maintain good posture because they know that it helps you present your body and yourself to best advantage.

  1. Better focus

The average human brain has more than 100 Billion neurons and 1000 trillion synaptic connections which are responsible for memory, concentration and transmission of information in your brain. Improved posture results in improved breathing and blood and oxygen flow boosting concentration and focus.

Good posture is shown to have so many benefits. It even helps keep your internal organs in their natural position without unnecessary compression which can help relieve constipation, acid reflux, and hernias.

In an age where most of us spending an average of 8 hours a day looking at a screen with our necks out of alignment, more and more people are chronically hunched. Poor posture can even create tension headaches or exacerbate pain in the body. Building flexibility helps.  So does breathing well. And your own awareness will inspire regular self-correction. Wearing comfortable shoes and regular balanced exercise will also support. So take time month week and make positive changes to your posture. Any improvements will give you an instant lift. Being aware of your posture also improves general awareness and focus which is fundamental to both happiness and success. Paying attention to your posture is a gift that will keep on giving to yourself.