We all know that bad posture is not very attractive, right? However, bad posture can actually hurt your overall health.

Slouching puts pressure on muscles, bones, and joints that are necessary for keeping your backbone in its place.

Slouching also squishes your organs together, and it can make it harder for your intestines and lungs to work correctly. Too much slouching can cause digestion issues and breathing issues.

Now that you understand the importance of learning and maintaining good posture, here are tips on how to help yourself.

1. Stand Up Straight – Pretend you are getting your height taken at the doctor’s office. Keep your head and your shoulders up, and tuck your belly in a little. Try looking in the mirror to see how you do. You should look like you have a string attached to your head, pulling you up to the sky.

2. Sit Correctly – Leaning back and slouching in your chair is bad. Especially if you spend hours a day there. Scoot your bum to the back of your chair, place a sweater, pillow, cushion or rolled up towel at your middle back. Make sure your knees are bent at 90 degrees, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Make sure your chair is at the right height.

3. Smart Phone Neck – Be aware that using your smart phone or other device can cause posture issues. When you have your head bent down to look at your phone, it strains the spine more than you’d think. Try to keep the phone at eye level whenever possible. Pay attention to your body positions when using your phone. Keep your head straight and your chin up. Take breaks, and stretch your back and neck once in a while.

4. Avoid High Heels – Although it may look nice, wearing high heels is bad for the back. They make the base of the spine move forward, and over-arches the back. This can cause nerve damage over time. High heels are also bad for your knees and ankles. Only wear them when you must.

5. Tone Your Core Muscles – Did you know that having belly weight puts stress on your back? When your core muscles are out of shape and weak, that is even worse. Tone your core, do some abdominal exercises, pay attention to your gut area, and build your spine-supporting muscles!

These tips are sure to help you. One last tip is to check your back. Stand with your back against a wall, with the back of your head touching the wall. Move your feet 6 inches away from the bottom of the wall. Your bum should touch the wall and your neck and lower back should be about 2 inches from the wall. If this doesn’t seem to be the case, you may want to see a doctor about your back.

Stand up straight, keep those shoulders back, support your spine, and enjoy a much healthier self!

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