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What is the Importance of Proper Posture?

Article Details
  • Written By: Matt Brady
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 21 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Proper posture is very important to the well-being of the spinal cord. It's also important to maintaining positive energy levels. Many people don't realize that bad posture can be a taxing ordeal on the body, sapping energy levels and leaving people feeling tired. If bad posture carries on long enough, one may begin to develop minor to severe pain, ranging from the upper neck to the lower back.

In extreme cases, one may need to undergo surgery to repair damaged discs along the spine. While such scenarios usually originate from a traumatic injury to the spine, bad posture can make the problem much worse. To avoid developing back and neck pain, learning proper posture is essential.

To begin developing proper posture, it's first important to figure out what one is doing improperly. One of the major posture taboos people commit is to constantly slump and crane their head forward. This puts undue pressure on the neck. The neck is designed to hold that pressure for small periods of time, but if the head is held in that position on a constant basis it can cause injury. Slumping one's shoulders are another common bad habit, along with slumping forward, which can result in an improper curvature of the spine.

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The key to proper posture is simply to correct many of those wayward tendencies. Sitting and standing with the back held straight, as opposed to slumping forward, can help prevent or curtail pain from the neck all the way down to the lower back. When practicing proper posture, there should be a small curve in the lower back as well as in the middle of the back and at the base of the neck. One must also hold their head up to keep the neck straight. Another important element is to keep the feet spaced properly, about shoulder-width apart.

Beginning a consistent workout routine can also help to maintain proper posture, which isn't only about stationary sitting and standing positions. A good running workout, which requires a vertical position, can be helpful. One might also join a yoga or Pilates class—physical disciplines that focus heavily on posture and muscle control.

It's important that people don't overcorrect their posture in an attempt to remedy bad habits. It's just as likely to cause damage to the spine by curving it too far backward as it is to chronically slump forward. Holding the spine too far forward or backward can lead to a chronic curvature of the spine, a condition known as scoliosis.

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