Posture is often defined as being the relaxed state of your spine. So if there is one form of “good” posture, why are there so many people with “bad” posture? Because personal posture is not predicated upon the textbook definition of posture, but what is comfortable to you. So why is it comfortable for you to have bad posture? Because through years of repetitive motions, prolonged exposure to a certain posture, and the way we hold ourselves within our society, muscles and ligaments stretch or shorten to make it easier to hold that bad posture.
This does not dismiss the fact that you, likely, have bad posture. This does not make it okay to continue to have bad posture. By continuing to have bad posture, you open yourself up to a whirlwind of problems. Our spines were meant to be in a certain order with certain curves in certain directions. Our joints are constructed in a certain manner to allow us to function as best we can. Most of what we do makes us crouch forward into this fetal position (ie. driving, texting, playing video games, typing on the computer, etc.) which over stretches most of our back muscles and tightens and shortens most of our front muscles. This makes that posture best designed for optimum function to lack, which causes degeneration within our bodies.
Here is a simple rule: Keep your head on straight, and the rest will follow. It’s difficult to have your head on top of your shoulders with your ears in line with your shoulders but have bad posture through the rest of your spine. Keep your head on straight! Relax your shoulders–don’t wear them as earrings. It’s not fashionable. Remind yourself to fix your posture, and you will begin to reteach your body how to hold itself. If you’re sitting, sit up straight. If it hurts after 5 minutes, keep doing it. Remind yourself to do it as much as you can. The main reason it hurts is because you’re not used to it. By continuing to sit and stand in better posture, you will strengthen the muscles that have been weakened by years of malpractice.