Poor posture is bad for us for many reasons, an important one being inefficient breathing and low oxygenation. Many people have poor posture for many hours a day in their office.
Here is a nice brief video on laptop (one of the worst culprits for poor posture?) ergonomics.
You could try this demonstration of how posture can affect breathing:
1) Sit in a relaxed manner (slumped?) on a dining room type chair (figure 3). Stretch out one hand as in figure 2 and place the little finger level with your naval (belly button) and the thumb on the base of your sternum (bottom of the ribs in the centre). You will notice the thumb and finger are quite close together.
2) Breathe on the back of your hand (as in figure 1, level with your top lip) and get the feel of the breath: moisture, warmth and force. Take your time, take a few normal breaths.
3) Now sit upright, imagining being pulled upwards by a string at the top of the back of your head, giving your diaphragm space to work. Notice that the thumb and finger are now wide apart as the front of the body elongates and opens (figure 4).
4) Again get a feel for your breath on the back of your hand: moisture, warmth, force, speed, faster slower, harder softer?
Most people will notice the breath is softer when sitting upright–a very good first step in better breathing.
The diaphragm is the major breathing muscle and shopuld normally be doing 80% of the work. A slumped position does not allow the diaphragm to work efficiently and encourages upper chest breathing, the stress response, heavy breathing and poor oxygenation.
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