Posted on 26th Jun 2011 @ 7:53 PM
Most people who work at a desk all day know that bad posture can cause back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches and even fatigue. But what about the effects of bad posture on your self esteem, and how other people perceive you?
Pretend, for a moment, you're a hiring manager evaluating two candidates. Both are equally qualified for the position. One sits up straight, looks you in the eye, and exudes confidence from every pore. The other slumps in his chair, his body locked in a perpetual shrug. Which one would you hire?
It's no surprise that posture affects how other people perceive us. After all, some researchers think that as much as 55 percent of all communication between humans is non-verbal. Your slouch can communicate to others that you don't have confidence in yourself. It's also possible that your bad posture has its roots in low self-esteem.
Want to improve how others see you, and feel better in body and spirit? Posture training can fix a lifetime of bad habits, ease back pain, boost confidence and even make you thinner. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Visualize. Ideally, your shoulders, hip, and knees should be in alignment at all times. Keep your ears over your shoulders, your shoulders over your hips, and your hips over your ankles. Deviating from this alignment by, say, putting your ears too far forward or your hips too far back can cause neck or back problems. For some great visualization tips, check out this article on posture training.
Stretch. The best ergonomic chair in the universe won't help you if you spend your days curled over a keyboard. For office workers, tightness in the neck and back is practically expected these days. But you're not doomed to hunch. Good stretches for cubicle slaves include head rolls, shoulder stretches, and wrist stretches.
Strengthen. Someday, someone will write a whole post about ergonomics and posture and not bring up core strength, but today is not that day. (Sorry.) If you want to keep yourself in alignment, you need to strengthen the muscles that support your spine. Which means working on the dreaded core. The good news is that you don't need a gym membership or a trainer to get a stronger middle. Crunches and planks are annoying, but totally free and can be done at home where no one is watching.
Just think of how great you'll look (and feel!) during your next job interview.