Read, or enjoy the audio version below.
Warning! I am a satirist! If you do not have a sense of humor or are easily-offended, these blogs may not be for you. May I interest you in an innocuous episode of Peppa Pig instead?
How Posture Postures You For Prosperity
Sitting Up And Taking Names
Now, I am not one to brag. But I am awesome. Really! All you have to do is ask me. There are many ways I am awesome, not the least of which is a pure unbridled awesome ability at being awesome.
However, I am also very much human, and with that comes frailties, fragilities, and an inability to cancel my gym membership or my Comcast service. Alas, these Things That Vex have plagued humans since the dawn of time. By "dawn of time" I refer of course to how cavemen could not cancel their gym membership or their Comcast service.
Being human comes with its own unique set of challenges. For instance, since I am nearing 50 I have found that I am no longer capable of staying awake once I plant my posterior in any chair with a comfort factor greater than .01%. No: I WILL fall asleep. This is because I, along with many others, suffer from what is commonly known as “chaircolepsy.” Yes, "chaircolepsy." You heard it here first, folks. Follow me for more language tips.
You see, chaircolepsy is an affliction which causes the victim to inadvertently drift off into the void at the very moment their buttocks touch the soft, cozy underlay of a plush chair. By void I mean deep unrecoverable sleep. By buttocks I mean buttocks.
Indeed, many times upon putting our older son to bed at night, I sit in a very cozy chair next to his bunk bed. (We refer affectionately to this chair as "The Chair That Eats People.") In said chair I attempt to softly sing “You Are My Sunshine.” However, as previously mentioned, I suffer from chaircolepsy, so, naturally, I fall asleep after the first three words, so my poor son will never know what he actually is. I am told my wife hears him pleading with me each night: “What, Dad? I’m your what?!?!?!?!?! DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD…!!!!!” I of course do not hear any of this, because I am already off in the void. By void I mean chair. That my buttocks are on.
So once my wife wakes me up and tells me that Brennan would like to know what in fact he is, I tease him and tell him that he is my DEVOPS, because he of course will not know what this word means, which means that he will then leave me alone so that I return back to sleeping on my buttocks. I have now said buttocks five times.
You see, I am nearing the age of “Old”, which means that I am frequently tired. My two sons do not understand this of course and constantly insist that I lie down on the floor so that they may launch from the couch, fly across the living room and piledrive me through the floor and into the crawlspace below. I believe they call this "play". I call it "hospital bill." In addition, I sit for great portions of my day at my desk, which means that:
- my spine is being conditioned for curvature
- I should make a fine candidate for kyphosis
- I do not get anything done because I am sitting and am therefore comatose.
It is of sitting and slouching that I need to speak today. You see, right now, I am awake, but that may change any moment, since I am sitting down to type th- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
You are an L, not a C
Used by permission from NatBat via Creative Commons. All Rights Reserved.
Ah! I saw you just sit up straight after looking at that picture. Sitting up straight is underrated. Good posture is so critical. From the side, your body should look like an "L", or a stainless steel square ruler. Not a "C", or a banana. And certainly not like a stainless steel banana. Or worse, a DEVOPS.
Role play with me for a minute, will you?
- Me: “Forgive me, Blog Reader, for I have sinned.”
- You: “Oh? What have you done THIS time, Mr. Alexander?”
- Me: “It has been three weeks since I last sat up straight in my chair.”
- You: “Get his head, boys.”
- Me: “But what about forrrrgggiiivveeennnnneessssss……” *trailing off into an unguessable distance*
You see, lately, I had been somewhat slumped over in my chair as I worked, and that had become routine. Because of this, I had also not really heavily pursued marketing. To be completely truthful before you and your boys get my head, I had even played… *cue suspenseful music* BEJEWELED!!!
I know, I know, I often preach 1) busyness and 2) making the most of your day. But I am a fallible human, full of sin and loaded up with bad posture and red licorice. I had let my fitness go. I could even have stood up, gone outside, and worked on my fitness by walking around my pasture. But no. I sat back and slumped in my chair, and as a result, failed to meet my goals or conduct any marketing. As a result, my business kind of plummeted. By plummeted I mean dropped drastically. By kind of I mean one hundred percent.
But that time is past! I am going to turn over a new leaf, I tell you! This ends NOW! I am napping in this chair presently, so by "NOW!" I mean "later."
Hey You, The Slouchy One
Used by permission from Steve Leggat via Creative Commons. All Rights Reserved.
“Sit up straight.” “Don’t slouch.” Ah, such time-honored directives from our parents and predecessors. They are right! There is something about sitting up straight that enables us to be more professional, alert, responsive, and ready.
Don’t believe me? The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences - which is a university I had never heard of until I began researching important-sounding links to make me sound intelligent and researched - had this to say as far as advantages of sitting up straight:
- Increased Confidence: Correcting your posture can impact the way you feel about yourself. One study found that students who held an upright, confident posture were much more likely to have confidence in their thinking—and performed better on math tests. Feeling more confident in your ideas at work will ultimately help you succeed.
- More Energy: Poor posture can negatively affect energy levels, resulting in fatigue. Practicing good body alignment may help you remain focused and energized at work. Whether you’re delivering packages or caring for patients, correct posture can allow you to power through the day more easily.
- Greater Self-Esteem and Better Mood: In addition to giving you more energy, better posture can also reduce depressive feelings and improve your self-esteem and mood. Feeling good about your professional life often starts with feeling positive about yourself.
- Easier Breathing: When the body is aligned correctly, it’s easier to breathe. Slouching can reduce lung capacity, leading to shortness of breath. Having difficulty breathing can impact your ability to do your best work. To breathe more life into your lungs and career, try altering your posture.
- Less Frequent Headaches: Bad posture creates tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulders, leading to headaches that manifest as throbbing pain in the base of the skull and sometimes the forehead. Headaches are no fun, so this is an incentive to have good posture.
- Reduced Risk of Injury: Proper posture can help you avoid injury, especially to your back, shoulders, arms, and wrists. One of the most common reasons people see a doctor or miss days of work is back pain. It’s particularly important to have good standing posture, as standing for long periods of time is associated with short-term adverse health issues, such as back pain, fatigue, and leg cramps.
- Boosted Productivity: Research shows that posture impacts productivity. If you’re in pain, injured, or fatigued, or if you lack self-confidence, you will likely have trouble staying focused and productive at work. Because improving your posture can positively impact your mental and physical health, it enables you to be a more productive member of the team.
Bonus: Healthline endorses these 12 exercises that can help you reap the health benefits of good posture.
So? Two weeks ago I made an effort to really sit up straight. I mean straight-like-a-ruler-being-pulled-utterly-skyward-by-a-stretchy-gravitational-force-diametrically-opposed-to-the-polar-pull-of-our-planet-straight. I committed myself to sitting at my desk as a professional would. Not slouching, not slumping, but looking and acting the part of a professional. I felt more professional. I said to myself, "Let's do this." I had more of a focused, winning, intentional mindset. I was more inclined to do marketing and reach my goals. Perhaps that's the reason why the military is so adamant about standing at attention:
- "Chin up, chest out, shoulders back, stomach in."
- Arms fixed at the side, thumb or middle finger parallel to trouser or skirt seam, depending on military drill specifics.
- "Eyes front": head and eyes locked in a fixed forward posture. Ideally eyes unmoving fixated on a distant object. Blank facial expression.
- Keeping the heels together, with the toes apart with the feet at a 45 degree angle.
- No speech, facial or bodily movements except when as required by military drill.
Since I started sitting up again:
- The week before last, I generated $11,590 through 20 jobs.
- This past week, I hit my generated-revenue-goal for the entire week, by Tuesday morning! That is a very, very good feeling. I finished with 22 jobs and $10k generated for the week.
- I achieved a high score of ZERO through ZERO PLAY on Bejeweled!
- I generally feel better and more aligned physically!
Since I did so well, I sat my buttocks down in a comfy chair to relax on Tuesday afternoon, and, well, you know the rest…
YOU HAVE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE END, AND I SALUTE YOU.
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