Sit up straight 🪑
Avoid the afternoon slump
Hey there —
Habits are powerful because they become the things we do instinctively.
Which means sometimes we have to unlearn the not-so-helpful habits we’ve picked up in the course of our daily lives.
🧺 Like leaving our clean laundry in the hamper while we pile our dirty clothes on the floor…
Mindlessly opening our social media apps whenever we’re bored…
💀 Or slumping over our computer keyboard for 8 hours (and then wondering why we can’t rotate our neck more than ten degrees without wincing).
We’re guessing that 99.9% of you can relate to that last one. So for the month of July, we’re encouraging you to reverse those bad posture habits and sit up straight.
Many of us don’t even realize we’ve developed the habit of poor posture until we find ourselves constantly reaching for the ibuprofen to dull our daily aches and pains.
As this great TED-Ed video on posture points out, “the way you hold your body when you’re sitting or standing is the foundation for every movement your body makes, and can determine how well your body adapts to the stresses on it.”
Whether it’s “tech neck” from looking down at our phones, tension headaches, or an aching lower back, many of the physical results of poor posture are pretty obvious.
But in addition to strained muscles, slouching can impact your internal organs, leading to a sluggish digestive system and reduced lung capacity (by up to 30%!) — lowering your oxygen levels and causing brain fog and fatigue.
That’s right, your physical slouch is contributing to your mental afternoon slump. 🥱
On the flip-side, sitting up straight doesn’t only improve your health and increase your core strength — it can also boost your mood.
Because of the strong connection between our body and mind, studies have shown that standing tall and sitting up straight help us feel energized, more confident, and make it easier to think positively.
All of which makes paying attention to your posture a habit that can massively elevate your entire life.
Replacing unhelpful habits with healthier counterparts isn’t easy, but it’s worth it to reap the benefits. Over time, we can make the helpful habits not just stick, but become as much a part of our daily routine as brushing our teeth.
Checking your posture on the regular is a great example of how you can work to rewire your autopilot so it can take you where you ultimately want to go — with a few less aches and pains along the way. 😉
Participate in the challenge!
Daily action: Every day for the next 30 days, remind yourself to sit up straight.
To help you track your progress, download this printable Habit Tracker to mark off each day you pay attention to your posture.
And after you’ve finished the challenge, fill out this Challenge Reflection to look back at your experience, take note of what you learned, and decide if this is a habit you want to make a permanent part of your routine.
Tips for success
📐Identify “good” posture. Not even sure what proper posture looks or feels like? Try the wall test to help you get a feel for how your body should be positioned.
⏰ Create a reminder. Whether it’s strategically placed sticky notes or a recurring alert on your phone, find a way to cue yourself to check your posture regularly throughout the day.
🧘 Listen to your body. Correcting your posture starts with building body and muscle awareness. It’s easy to get so caught up in your work, or set on meeting a deadline, that you miss what your body is telling you. When you start to feel the strain, don’t ignore it or “power through.” Instead, take a moment to make an adjustment — or a full on break to get up and stretch.
Additional resources to help you straighten up
How to improve your upright sitting posture
by Anne Asher, CPT
Sitting up straight, like many other things in life, is a process that needs to be learned (especially if you’re a serial sloucher). And getting there involves more than just straightening your spine.
This whole-body guide on how to sit up straight offers 9 simple steps to help you achieve — and maintain — an optimal sitting position, even if you’re stuck behind a computer all day.
7 benefits to improved posture at work + exercises to help
by University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences
Whether your job requires sitting at a desk, getting behind the wheel, being on your feet, or lifting heavy objects all day, you’ll benefit from proper posture.
Tap the link to learn some helpful exercises for each of these scenarios (most of which can be done as you work) so you can avoid injury and pain, no matter what your workday demands. 💪
Ergonomics expert explains how to set up your desk
by Wall Street Journal
Your desk wasn’t made for you…it was made for everyone. But with some simple fixes, you can create a more custom workspace that’s better for your body.
In this video, Ergonomics expert Jon Cinkay from the Hospital for Special Surgery shows you how to make your desk and office chair adapt to you and not the other way around.