Sit Up Straight

An illustration showing incorrect and correct postureWith healthy posture, your spine will be stable and strong, but unhealthy posture, such as stooping or slouching, can cause headaches, back pain and other issues because your ligaments and muscles are straining to maintain your balance, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Your muscle strength impacts your balance in several ways. Your core muscles – those in your back, pelvis, side and buttocks – “form a sturdy central link between your upper and lower body. Weak core muscles encourage slumping, which tips your body forward and thus off balance. Strong lower leg muscles also help keep you steady when standing,” notes Harvard Medical School.

However, some simple exercises, including balance-specific workouts, can help you improve your posture. These exercises can build strength in your core muscles, and stretches can help loosen your tight muscles.

According to Harvard, you have good posture if:

  • Your chin is parallel to the floor
  • Your shoulders are even; to achieve this, roll your shoulders up, back and then down
  • You have a neutral spine; do not flex or arch to overemphasize the curve of your lower back
  • Your arms are at your sides, and your elbows are even and straight
  • You’ve braced your abdominal muscles
  • Your hips are even
  • Your knees are even and point straight ahead
  • Your body weight is evenly distributed on both of your feet

In addition, when you’re seated, make sure to keep your chin parallel to the floor. Your shoulders, hips and knees should be at even heights, and your knees and feet should point straight ahead.