HEALTHY LIVING
04/08/2015 12:14 AM AEST | Updated 04/08/2015 12:33 AM AEST

The Startling Truth About Why You Should Sit Up Straight

Good posture is pretty darn important.

Text neck got you down? We don't blame you -- having good posture is really important.

As this new TED-Ed video says, your posture is the "foundation for every movement your body makes." Your posture also has a lot to do with how well your body adapts to the stresses placed on it, like gravity, carrying weight and sitting in weird positions.

So it makes sense that poor posture is pretty bad news. According to the video, poor posture inflicts extra wear and tear on joints and ligaments, increases the likelihood of accidents, makes organs like your lungs less efficient --hunching over can affect your lung capacity by as much as 30 percent -- and is linked with scoliosis, tension headaches and back pain. And between looking down at computer screens at work and hunching over to stare at our phones, poor posture is on the rise. 

 We know, we know. Enough scary details. Let's talk about what good posture looks like. If you're someone with good posture, your vertebrae are stacked up nicely and your body should look like this from the side:

TED-Ed

If you have a sneaking suspicion that your spine does not look like this, you can take steps to improve your posture. Make sure your neck is vertical while you're sitting (you want your computer screen to be at eye level), and keep your knees at a right angle with your feet flat on the floor. Try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees, and make  sure to exercise -- keeping your muscles moving allows you to use them more easily throughout the day. And if you're worried about your posture, talk to your doctor. 

Physical health benefits aren't the only perks to good posture. Sitting up straight can also boost your confidence, make you more energetic, reduce stress and make you more productive at work.

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