Poor posture doesn’t just look bad, it is bad for you. Studies have shown that slouching greatly decreases both lung capacity and how fast a person can exhale. And the less oxygen a person breathes in, the more sluggish he or she will feel.
“A lot of times, when people feel tired, they look for snacks to perk them up,” said Carolyn Lyons, a yoga instructor at Revive Wellness Spa in Flushing. “But if they could just get a little bit (more) air in them, that may solve the problem.”
To achieve proper posture, Lyons recommends first placing a hand above you belly button. Draw that muscle in and up, as though trying to fill in the space formed at the inverted-V of your lower ribcage. Then, roll your shoulders back into place.
“Ears should be over the shoulders,” Lyons said. “Shoulders should be over the hips, and (if standing) hips should be over your ankles.”
To make sure you’re not overdoing it, Lyons recommends that you check your stance in a mirror. If you have an over-exaggerated arch in the lower back, you may be rolling your shoulders back too far.
The more often you practice good posture, the more likely it is that it will become habit, Lyons says. And since good posture ultimately results in increased energy, that’s a pretty good habit to have.
“It’s going to improve your breathing, which will improve your energy,” she said.
So the next time you feel lethargic at work, Lyons said, try opening your chest cavity … by sitting up straight.
For information about Lyons’ classes at Revive Wellness Spa, visit www.revivewellnessspa.com or call (810) 867-4472.