Healthy posture has a big impact on your body and mind. We live in a culture of sitting, slumped over a computer and slouching over our phones. The benefits of good posture aren’t only for appearance. It affects our well being in many areas. Several studies show how posture affects many areas of our health. Among them are spinal health (1), energy, digestion, productivity, mood (2) and chronic pain (3).
Follow this posture checklist by Dr. Karyn Staples, physical therapist and owner of ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates in Peachtree City, Ga.
Full Body Healthy Posture Checklist
Start with finding the ball of your big toe. Now locate the space on the bottom of your foot, between the 4th and 5th toes. Complete a triangle, with finding the center of your heel. Keep the image of the triangle in mind as you come to standing, feet parallel, hip width distance apart.
As you stand on your triangle, lift your toes. Sift your weight forward and back. Shift too far back, you may feel as if you’ll fall over. Too far forward and it’s difficult to keep your toes lifted. When you find your center, it’s easy to keep your toes lifted.
Lower your toes down and check in with your knees. They should be relaxed. Make sure your knees aren’t locked or pressing back too hard.
Work your way up through the thigh bone and into your hips. We’re aiming for a neutral pelvis position. Find a neutral pelvis by keeping the pubic bone parallel to the wall in front of you. Your pelvis isn’t tucked or untucked.
Healthy pelvic alignment creates a domino effect through your lower body. The pelvis right over the thigh bone, in line with the shin bone and finally over the second toe.
Moving onto the upper body, place your hands on your waist. Find the soft part above the pelvic hips. We want to create space of three-four fingers between the 10th rib and pelvis.
Dr. Staples teaches that while our ribcage can move in any direction, we seek to have it centered. “Our body is lined up as if there are stacked rings, lined up on top of one another, just like the stacking of a slinky. The rings are allowed to open and close and move in various directions, however they stay lined up on top of one another”.
Align your ribcage over the pelvis and under the shoulders. Keep the breastbone proud. Imagine your breastbone and public bone are in a vertical line together. This connects