Straight Talk on Posture

Need more energy? It could be as close as the top of your head.

If your head is held high, and you lengthen your spine by standing straight, it helps open your chest to create space for all your internal organs. Your entire body benefits, and you can use this "found" energy to pursue activities you love. Studies show good posture can enhance your appearance, confidence, and self-esteem. It also relieves overcrowding of internal organs caused by slouching.

We've all tried to stop slouching, but we can be deflected by sedentary lives, high stress, long commutes, and hours hunched over computers. In simpler times, good posture was easy. Most people lived active, physical lives that developed strong muscles and bones essential to good posture.

Improving your posture

The following activities can help you improve your posture:

  • Take a deep breath.

  • Become aware of your posture.

  • If you're sitting, align your ears, shoulders, and hips. If standing, align your knees and ankles.

  • Take another deep breath and enjoy the healthy feeling.

  • Resolve to do this daily.

Good posture helps your lungs expand fully when you take a deep breath. It lets your heart pump at full capacity, your blood flow smoothly, and your digestive tract stay on track.

Once good posture becomes a habit, annoying aches and pains may vanish from your shoulders, neck, and back.

Practice makes perfect

Good posture relies on strong muscles. Try these exercises after a brief warm-up, such as walking up two flights of stairs.

Chest stretch. Interlace fingers behind neck. Extend elbows to side. Inhale. Tighten stomach muscles and bring elbows together in front. Exhale. Keep fingers laced and squeeze shoulder blades so elbows return to side. Repeat 10 to 12 times.

Photo of man with arms in starting position for chest stretch
Chest Stretch

Triangle stretch. Sit cross-legged. Tighten stomach muscles. Cross arms behind back by dropping one arm over shoulder and reaching other arm up from behind. Clasp hands together or bridge gap with a sock. Hold 30 seconds. Reverse arms and legs, then try again. Repeat three times.

Photo of woman's arms in correct position for Triangle stretch
Triangle Stretch

Improving your posture can help you look and feel better. So invest in yourself and try some "posture improvement" activities today!


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