The keys to developing excellent body posture are
awareness, strength, and flexibility.

by Naomi Minwalla

We live in a world where good body postures are abnormal. Look around you and you will see that slouching bodies are the norm. This is a paradox in an era where information about good posture is so easily accessible and technology in the form of ergonomic chairs and back supports is affordable. The problem is that if you do not have a good posture to preserve in the first place, then the technology is useless!

The keys to developing excellent body posture are awareness, strength, and flexibility. When you sit at a desk to read or to work, do you ask yourself the following questions: Is this desk the right height for me? Do I shrug my shoulders when I work? Am I sitting upright in my chair? Are my reading materials and computer positioned at a correct angle? Is my neck bending too much? Am I getting up periodically to stretch? Doing what is most comfortable for your body may not be doing what is correct for your body. Being aware of how you interact with your physical environment and consciously recognizing and changing your comfortable, but incorrect, physical habits, are the first big steps toward developing and maintaining good body posture.

The second step is to develop flexibility and strength. For many people, developing good body posture will require a complete reconditioning of their muscles, tendons and bones so that they become flexible and strong enough to support an erect frame. This is not impossible, regardless of your age, but it will require a daily, personal commitment. I, for example, developed rounded shoulders and a slouching back from over a decade of slouching when carrying heavy textbooks in a backpack while completing four university degrees. At the age of thirty, I suffered from a chronic tennis injury in my shoulder and back which was further exacerbated by poor study habits. It was at this time that I became more aware of my posture and took measures to correct it.

By committing to a daily practice designed to improve strength and flexibility, I gradually healed my injury and corrected my posture. Once attained, these assets are easy to maintain. You too can improve your posture and be a stronger, more flexible and vibrant person. Be the next person to make good body postures the rule, rather than the exception in our world!


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