Are you sitting down? I want to tell you something that might send your world into a tailspin.
Your mom was right.
Before you have a complete meltdown and make an appointment with your therapist, I’m not saying that she was right about everything. She probably picked out that outfit you’re wearing in your first grade class photo, after all.
But when she told you to stand up straight, she was right.
Good posture makes you appear:
- More confident
- More presidential (perfect if you’re planning a run for office or a request for more money from your boss)
In terms of how your body functions, good posture:
- Prevents back pain
- Prevents neck pain
- Prevents hip pain
- Prevents knee pain (do you see a trend here?)
- Allows your diaphragm to move properly when you breathe
- Allows your organs to function properly
- Allows your muscles, joints, and connective tissue to work properly
- Keeps bones properly aligned
- Contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, which can help with everything from good sleep to good moods.
Here’s a good time to introduce a topic on which my mom was wrong.
She had several favorite sayings:
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
“I’ve had it up to ‘here’ with you.”
“Sit lady-like” to my Mom meant to sit with legs crossed. It also meant not to sit with one leg on the couch and the other draped over the back of the couch. It meant not to flip yourself around and rest your feet on the couch while hanging your upper body off of the side. Generally, it meant to get your feet off of the couch before you ruined it (although in my defense, it was the 80s, and that couch didn’t have many redeeming qualities).
In part, she was right. Slouching on the couch was and is a bad idea for your posture. But crossing your legs is wrong, too.
First of all, crossing your legs is bad for your circulation. If you want your legs to look great, the circulation has to be good.
Second, sitting cross-legged puts the weight onto one of your two sitting bones, twisting your lumbar spine and putting strain there. It can overstretch one side of your back muscles. Simply, it can cause back pain.
Proper posture in a seated position involves uncrossing your legs and planting your feet uncrossed on the floor. If your chair is adjustable, you should raise it up so that your hips are higher than your knees so your weight can be distributed between your feet, thighs, hips, and low back. It’s an easy way to correct your sitting posture (just as long as you don’t slouch!)
Sorry, Mom. I’m right on this one. (Of course, you’re the one who told me education was important, so I guess that makes you right… again.)
Stay hard core,