If you have bad posture, you probably have heard these commands many, many, many times before— “Stand up straight!”, “don’t slouch!”, “don’t hunch your back!” If you are a rebel, you probably just rolled your eyes and slouched even more, just to show that no one – NO ONE—can boss you around. Well, I feel you. It’s not nice to have someone pointing out every flaw with the way you move. However, although such comments are annoying, they are well meaning.

Benefits of good posture

1. Less back pain, neck pain and headaches

Your posture is determined by how your bones and muscles are aligned and that forms the foundation for every movement your body makes. If your posture isn’t optimal, there will be more tension in certain muscle groups while other muscle groups are inhibited. Overtime, this can cause chronic back pain, stiff neck and even headaches.

2. You look taller and more poised

The picture says it all. Do you want to be a suave businessman or the hunchback of Notre Dame?

How to get a nice posture

1. Stand against the wall

To achieve the “good” posture in the picture above, you can stand against a wall. The back of your head, your back, your butt, your calf and your heel should be touching the wall.

2. Fix your workplace

Nowadays, studying has become a full-time job. If you do not spend more than 8 hours at your desk, you are either so sick you can only lie in bed with a book or playing truant. Seeing how much time we spend in the sitting position, there is a need to sit comfortably.

Get a laptop stand which can double up as a stand for your textbooks, and make sure that you are reading at eye level or slightly below eye level, so that you do not have to crane your neck.

Get an ergonomic chair that supports the arch of your back and adjust it to a height such that your knees are perpendicular to the ground.

3. Do posture correcting exercises

There are many Youtube videos dishing out tips on how to correct your posture in a few simple steps, in a few minutes etc. Most of them are informative, but others are just videos of clueless Youtubers rehashing long held myths floating around the internet-dom. I sieved through a few popular videos and I found this video to be quite useful:

And guess what, its promise of correcting your posture in 5 simple steps, starting with your neck, then going downwards, and eventually to your knees, should appeal to people like us looking for a quick fix.

Okay… so I know what I can do to have good posture, but how do I maintain it? That is a legitimate concern that I share too. I might watch a Youtube video titled “the benefits of good posture” and being kiasu and kiasi, I will make sure that I sit up straight, with my shoulders wide apart and head held high. But 5 minutes later, I will get distracted by a funny cat video. And before I know it, I am back to being a spineless couch potato.

Sadly, there is no cure to being a scatterbrain. However, there is work-around around this problem… and that is enlisting the help of your friends and if you are feeling up to it, your parents. When reminders like “don’t slouch!”, “sit up straight!, “don’t hunch your back!” become the one thing you can count on in life, it is hard to forget that your posture (and your Instagram side view photos) deserve to be beautiful too.