Sit up Straight – It Helps Your Mental Wellbeing!
Do you remember either a family member or school teacher telling you to sit up straight? Well it turns out that there is more to this than meets the eye, and it goes far beyond trying to maintain proper decorum. Good posture is how a human body works in its most bio-mechanically efficient and now it has been scientifically proven to positively affect our mental wellbeing too according to a an Ohio state University study. Take a look below to find out why sporting a good sitting position can improve our state of mind. We’ve also thrown in a few tips on how to achieve great posture.
Posture = Power
The fact is that posture = power. This is because, at its most primitive level, standing upright makes us not only feel good about ourselves but makes others around us perceive us in a more positive light too. It is therefore at no surprise that top politicians now have special advisors on the way they stand and appear. Standing tall is a quick win for anyone that wants to exert power or even just to feel a little bit more confident.
Prevent Health Complications
Apart from the obvious physical ailments that can come from poor posture, such as back ache, back pain, pressure inside your chest and poor blood circulation, there are also a whole host of mental health implications. For example, if someone continues to sport a bad postural position then they are more likely to have low feelings of self-worth and actually be more stressed. This is why it is essential to have a high back chair, sometimes known as a tall back chair, to give people the support to not only remedy existing ailments but to prevent them in the future.
Julie Jennings, an independent Occupational Therapist, knows the importance of keeping great posture and the health implications that go with it. That is why she refers many of her patients to have lumbar support furniture that enables people to change their lifestyles in order to complete everyday activities.
Lose weight and strengthen
Although, your primary goal may not be to tone up and lose weight, this is just a natural by-product of having great posture. Emmett says you can actually burn up to 350 calories a day just by sitting in the correct manner! This is because, by carrying yourself better, you are taking tension off the body. Additionally, by sitting upright we extend the middle of the back which leads to a neutral spine position, ensuring greater muscle use which also surprisingly leads to a greater mental focus.
Improve concentration and productivity
Did you know that improving your posture can bring about improved concentration – leading to higher productivity? Well it does. This feeling of alertness comes with having a good posture because those that slouch take in up to 30% less oxygen than those who adopt a good sitting position. Put simply, this means that when you slouch it is a lot harder to keep your energy up which leads to a loss in motivation.
Improve your mood
There have been many comprehensive studies on the way that people’s mood can be improved and one of these is how posture can affect someone psychologically. The most famous of these studies is Erik Peper who carried out a range of experiments to test how posture affects energy levels and positive thoughts. The study concluded that participants that had good posture felt more energetic, positive and tended to be happier. In contrast, those that were slouched had increased feelings of sadness, loneliness and isolation.
It seems quite logical really that being in an upright position will ensure that you will have an improved breathing pattern and a higher oxygen supply. The widening of the airways ensures proper breathing by allowing more oxygen to flow through the veins. The blood is then able to carry sufficient oxygen to the whole body which means your bodily functions perform at a greater level as well as your mental capacity.
Although not directly linked with mental health, good digestion is the foundation for general health. Your digestions is actually one of the first things to go wrong when your health starts to deteriorate. And by keeping your rib cage in a good position, free and open means your digestion can work that bit easier. Good digestion can also not so much promote mental wellbeing but it prevents any negative thought processes.
Ways to promote good posture:
Many offices have now started to adopt gym balls to actually replace office chairs. It’s an easy and cheap way to achieve great posture. Rather than your muscles getting stuck in the same position like they would with an office desk, they have to work that little bit harder but not to the extent at which you notice. As well as naturally improving posture, gym balls also promote core strength and a sense of mental wellbeing. It’s a must for those that sit in the same seat in the office every day! If your office is not gym ball friendly you can also buy special seat cushions that actively promote good posture.
Rest and movement:
Getting a sufficient amount of exercise directly improves your posture! Also exercise such as aerobics, yoga and tai chi are excellent to keep fit and maintain a great sitting position. But any movement what so ever is strengthening the muscles thus providing a stronger base for improving posture.
Within any exercise or movement the most important thing to consider is rest. This will eliminate any un-needed tension. Relaxing could mean anything from a gentle swim to a massage or even a good afternoon nap.
Lumbar Support Chairs
Any form of lumbar support chair or tall back chair will go a long way in promoting good posture. This is because these types of chairs already have the features to provide optimum comfort when sitting in a good sitting position. Often people’s reason for not adopting good posture is because they say it requires effort or it hurts to sit in these types of positions. The truth is that this is probably because these people have weakened muscles for the reason of not sitting properly.
It is therefore crucial to have a good back care chair to be able to facilitate good posture and the proper support needed to achieve comfort. This will then lead to greater postural support and ultimately greater physical and mental health.