Posture is the position of your body, or your body parts in relation to each other. How you carry yourself changes constantly depending on what you’re doing. Good posture maintains body and muscle balance and efficiency regardless of what you’re doing.

If you’ve been taking your posture for granted, don’t. Poor posture can contribute to chronic fatigue, headaches, backaches and muscle strain. It may even cause crowding of the heart, lungs and other internal organs. If you slump, people may even think you’re lazy or lack self-confidence. Good posture is especially important when you’re stretching or exercising. When you stand, your lower back should have a slight curve (lordosis), which distributes your weight properly. Your knees should be straight, but not locked, your stomach flat, your ribcage up, your shoulders at ease and your head erect. The old image of a book balanced on your head is still a good guide for proper posture.

When you sit, keep both feet flat on the floor, with your entire back against the chair and your head and neck straight. Your weight should be distributed evenly between both buttocks.

-Straight-backed chairs with no support for low back
-Slouching or tensing while driving
-Soft, deep cushions
-Reaching or straining to reach instead of moving your body into proper position
-Having your chair too close or too far away from your work surface
-Sleeping on your stomach
-Bending or lifting objects without bending your knees

When exercising, most of the same posture rules apply. It is critically important not to lock either your elbows or your knees when doing weight training or stretching. You should also be aware of your back position in order to prevent strain and injury. As you progress, you’ll do all of these things automatically and, the more you exercise and train, the better your posture will be.