Stop what you’re doing for a second and think about the way you’re sitting or standing. Are your shoulders over your hips? Is your back straight? Are your shoulder blades drawn down and together? Are your head and neck in line with your spine?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, chances are you’re dealing with some less-than-ideal posture habits.

These days, just about everyone has trouble standing up straight and maintaining good posture. It’s hard when you’re constantly slouching over a computer or phone at work and at home.

If you are seeking motivation to fix your posture, keep reading. Listed below are the five greatest benefits you’ll experience when you stand and sit up straigh

1.You Will Breathe More Easily

Did you know that chronic slouching can negatively affect your breathing ability and lung capacity?

Research shows that, when you slouch, the muscles and tendons in the front of your body become shortened. This makes it harder for you to take full, deep breaths.

By simply improving your posture, you can improve your breathing by up to 30 percent!

Why does the ability to breathe fully and deeply matter?

Well, when you breathe, you send oxygen to various parts of your body. When you can breathe more easily, more oxygen can reach your organs and tissues. This, in turn, allows them to function optimally.

2Your Back Will Hurt Less

The back pain industry is worth $50 billion, and it’s no mystery why. Approximately 80 percent of the population struggles with back pain at some point in their lives!

There are lots of reasons why people deal with back pain. But, one of the most common causes is chronic slouching and poor posture.

Think about it. If you make a habit of slouching every single day, you’re putting a lot of stress on your spine and the muscles surrounding it. Poor posture can also lead to nerve compression and limited blood flow, neither of which is good for people who want to avoid pain.

When you sit up straight, your bones, ligaments, muscles, and joints can properly align themselves and extra strain is eliminated.

Sitting up straight also helps you strengthen your core. This, in turn, provides additional support for your spine.

3. You’ll Feel Happier

Research also shows that sitting or standing up straighter can help you feel happier and more confident. One study even found that people who stood up straighter felt less depressed and had more energy.

Part of this improvement likely has to do with the fact that improving your posture helps increase the amount of oxygen sent to your brain.

A lack of oxygen can also cause stress to the brain and hinder serotonin (a neurotransmitter associated with a positive mood) production.

4. You’ll Have an Easier Time Concentrating

Do you find yourself struggling to stay awake in school or at work? Before you reach for another cup of coffee or a chemical-laden energy drink, try simply sitting up straighter.

As you already know, when you improve your posture, you send more oxygen-rich blood to your brain. This simple change can help you feel more focused and alert and make it easier for you to fight through the 3 o’clock slump. 

5. You’ll Have Better Digestion

Finally, improving your posture can also improve your digestion. If you struggle with constipation, acid reflux, and other digestive issues, your posture could be the culprit.

If you’re constantly slouching, your internal organs can easily become compressed. This makes it harder for them to do their job and push food through your gastrointestinal system normally.

Before you reach for another antacid, take a look at the way you’re sitting. Sitting up straighter may help you instantly feel a bit better.

To further improve your digest, try going for a walk after eating and focus on maintaining good posture. This will help stimulate digestion and reduce unpleasant symptoms.

Tips for Standing Up Straighter

If you want to reap these great benefits but aren’t sure how to start sitting and standing up straighter, these tips can help.

  • Use a desk chair that has firm lower back support

  • Adjust your chair so that your elbows can form 90-degree angles and your wrists are neutral

  • Adjust your computer monitor so you can see the screen without craning your neck

  • Wear a postural brace or place a small pillow behind your back when sitting

  • Get up and take a break once every hour

  • Adjust your car seat so your knees are lower than your hips

  • Do core-strengthening exercises like planks and bird dogs regularly

Improving your posture may seem like a Herculean task at first. But, by making these small adjustments, you’ll soon find that standing up straighter becomes second nature.