Illustration by Elaine Liu

Sure, slouchin’ the day away looks a little, shall we say, sloppy. But sitting up (and standing, and walking) with good posture is more beneficial than it may appear. A slumped spine can impair circulation and even cause vertebrae to deteriorate over time. Along with the poor circulation, the muscle strain caused by bad posture can result in feeling tired earlier in the day. Not to mention half of Americans suffer from back and shoulder pain, and slouching is a huge culprit.

Avoid the slouching ouchies by evaluating your posture: stand with your back against the wall and your feet six inches away from the wall. Your butt, shoulder blades, and back of the head should be touching the wall. There should be less than two inches between the wall and the lower back— any more or lesssuggests a problem with posture. When sitting, keep the computer screen (or anything else you’re looking at) at eye-level—go ahead, adjust it now, we’ll wait— feet flat on the floor, and back straight.

The Takeaway: Bad posture can leave you pained and exhausted. Straighten up to ease the pain.

A Healthy Zip Code?

Some people move for safer neighborhoods and better school districts, but where you live might also affect your health. Specifically, certain states have been found to have higher incidence of cardiovascular disease despite other health factors (like caloric intake and exercise).

Fun Fact

The human spine has 34 vertebrae and more than 200 specialized ligaments. Let’s keep ‘em all in line, eh?