Straight posture can have many significant health benefits. Keeping the skeletal frame in its intended position can help reduce strain on muscles and joints, and reduce the incidence of joint inflammation. People with bad posture often have higher incidence of strain in the area of the neck and back. Straight posture may also help prevent carpel tunnel syndrome, a condition that is believed to afflict about 4% of people worldwide.
Slouching is one of the most common types of bad posture. This is a general description for allowing the shoulders to slump forward, rather than holding them in an erect position. Slouching can eventually lead to back, neck and shoulder pain. In addition, a slouching posture can also constrict the lungs and interfere with normal breathing. Maintaining straight posture is considered essential to normal blood flow and respiration.
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Studies conducted on typists seem to show that carpal tunnel syndrome may be more common in people who do not have straight posture, especially in people with sedentary lifestyles. Sometimes, people with relatively good posture may adopt bad posture when in the sitting position. Keeping the body straight, with the back against the chair, and both feet on the floor generally improves blood flow and may help reduce stress on muscles in the hand and wrist.
There are many exercises that might help people achieve straight posture. One example involves standing against a wall while making sure that both the back of the head and back of the feet are touching the wall. Then, the lower back and both arms should be forced flat against the wall as well. While in this position, the arms should then be moved in an arc-like motion until they are over the head. Repeating this exercise at least ten times per day can sometimes help with many different types of bad posture.
Straight posture seems to have a psychological impact. People with straight posture often present a more compelling personality, which may help them in both their personal lives and careers. Slouching, and other types of bad posture, are sometimes read as a type of body language, and may make the person seem more timid or less energetic. Many career-oriented seminars include posture training, as good posture is believed to help people advance their careers.
In some cases, bad posture may have a serious underlying cause. Certain types of spine deformities or injuries can cause problems with posture. Posture that cannot be corrected or is accompanied by pain should probably be brought to the attention of a physician.