self esteem

How to Improve Your Posture in Just 5 Minutes

Think of some of the most confident, successful people you know.

Do you ever recount seeing them slouching or maintaining bad posture even once?

Maintaining proper posture is more than just about spine or wrist health. It’s a reflection of your inner feelings. Just like dressing well is a way of telling the world you are successful, maintaining proper posture is a reflection of your self-confidence.

And unlike dressing well which takes money, improving your posture is faster, easier and only requires constant practice. It also improves your state of mind, thus leading to more success in your life.

Here are some steps you can take to improve your sitting, standing and walking postures in only 5 minutes.

Proper Sitting Posture

Sitting for long periods of time with improper posture is a guaranteed way of damaging your body. It is one of the leading causes for widespread back pain problems experienced in the western society. Here are some steps to maintain proper posture while sitting.

  • Push your hips back into the chair so that you can maintain the arch in your lower back while sitting.
  • Roll your shoulders back and down and keep your chest up. In short, do not slouch.
  • If you’re sitting at work, then position your monitor such that your head is in a neutral position and eyes looking straight ahead of you.
  • Position your keyboard so that your forearms and elbows are resting on the desk or on the support of your chair.
  • In order to avoid knee problems, make sure that you maintain a 90 degree knee angle and that your feet are flat on the ground. Avoid crossing your legs.
  • Regardless of how well you maintain sitting posture, the human body is not built to sit for long periods of time. Because of this, you need to take a break every 20 minutes. This doesn’t have to be a long break. Just get up, walk around for 20/30 seconds and get back to work.

Proper Standing Posture

Standing improperly keeps your mind dull and makes you feel fatigued. Standing properly helps your mind become agile which in turn fills you with confidence. Use the following steps:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Now, lean forward so that you know what it feels like to have your body weight on your toes. Next, lean back so you know what it feels like to balance your body weight on your heels. Notice that there is a tendency to slouch in this position. The body hangs back, the abdomen protrudes and the spine bears the entire weight. Balance your weight on the balls of your feet and evenly on both feet.
  • Learn to stand tall i.e. roll your shoulders back and down and keep your chest up. Maintain a neutral head position by looking straight in front of you.
  • Don’t put your hands in your pockets as this leads to slouching.

Proper Walking Posture

Have you noticed how confident, successful people have an air of confidence about them as they walk around? Use the following steps to maintain proper posture while walking.

  • Start by standing with proper posture using the steps described previously.
  • Roll through the step from heel to toe and push off the toes for the next step.
  • As you walk, make sure that your body weight still remains on the center of your foot.
  • If you want to walk faster or run, make sure that your arms are close to your side and make a 90 degree angle at the elbow but do not clench your fists. Even otherwise, bending your elbows slightly makes walking more efficient.

While the steps listed above are easy to learn, they can be hard to do consistently. The only way you can do it consistently is through constant self-awareness. As you go through your day, pay attention to how you are sitting at work or how you are walking on the way to lunch, etc. If done regularly, you will find that in a couple of weeks, it is easier than it is now. In a month, you’ll be doing it without even thinking about it.

Regardless of whether you are skinny/fat or old/young, you can use the steps given above to improve your posture. Maintaining your overall fitness levels by exercising regularly also automatically corrects your posture.

So what are you waiting for? Improve your posture and show the world the confident you!

Charu Chandra loves doing yoga and blogs about it at strongyogi.com. Yoga helps further remedy problems with posture. You can get started on a yoga program by checking out his free e-book called ‘Sun Salutation For Beginners’. You can also follow him on twitter at @strongyogicharu.