Ditch those bad postures ASAP! | Image: © Cover Media

Having good posture is about more than just walking with your head held high; it can also mean the difference between good health and bad. Basically, correct posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. Furthermore, your organs are also in the right position and can function at their best. And lastly, good posture helps contribute to the normal function of the nervous system. Pretty impressive right? We bet you’re even sitting up a little straighter as you read this.

On top of research that has already found that poor posture can lead to bodily systems not working as effectively as they should (such as digestion, breathing and muscles), there is also evidence to suggest that a person with bad posture may be more tired and unable to work efficiently.

Slouching at our desks is a habit we are all guilty of, as it’s just so easy to sink into yourself. But new research has also highlighted the dangers of texting on our phones and what it does to the spine.

Published in Surgical Technology International, the study suggests that looking down at a mobile phone is the equivalent of placing a 27-kilogram weight on your neck. To put it in real terms: this is equivalent to an eight-year-old child.

“As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 12kg at 15 degrees, 18kg at 30 degrees, 22kg at 45 degrees and 27kg at 60 degrees,” Kenneth Hansraj, a New York back surgeon, explained in the paper.

His conclusion came after assessing computer models of how gravity affects the human spine, assuming that the average weight of the human head is 5.4kg.

So now is the time to put down your phone and try some of our top posture tips:

Keep the body in alignment while sitting in an office chair and standing.

This means distributing body weight evenly to the front, back and sides of feet when standing, and sitting up straight, aligning the ears, shoulders and hips in one vertical line when sitting.

Get up and move

Getting your muscles moving will help stave off the dreaded slouch, as tired muscles can cause a slump. Taking a few minutes’ break when at your desk will do your back the world of good.

Increase awareness of posture

Just thinking about your posture can cause you to sit up a little straighter. Be aware of your position when standing and sitting, and make improvements there and then.

Use a back cushion or pillow

This can be used at your desk, at the dinner table and even in the car.

Easy exercise

Snow angels aren’t just for kids – and doing one on your bedroom floor is a great exercise to start and end the day with. Lie down and make the snow angel movement with your arms slowly, for two to three minutes, for a nice stretch. © Cover Media