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We’re in the midst of swimsuit season, so everyone is striving for a flatter belly! Crunches and cardio are the norm. But did you know that posture plays a critical role in a trim midsection, too? In fact, good posture can increase daily caloric burn by more than 350 calories!

BackJoy Medical Advisory Board Member, Janice Novak, who is also MS and author of Posture, Get It Straight! Look Ten Years Younger, Ten Pounds Thinner and Feel Better Than Ever, said that standing up straight can make you appear ten pounds thinner.

How? When you slouch or slump, you appear shorter and you push your belly outwards, making it appear several inches wider than it actually is. When you stand with good posture, you stand tall with your shoulders back and you engage the transverse abdominals, which whittles the waist.

In addition to looking thinner, posture expert and physical therapist Karena Wu, PT, MS, says that those who practice good posture have more energy to exercise and psychologically feel better (both of which allow you to properly manage your waistline).

How do you achieve good posture?

Sitting:PosturePlus_Blue3Q

  • Make sure to keep your knees bent at 90 degrees with your head and shoulders back and hips upright.
  • Stretch the top of your head toward the ceiling, tuck your chin in slightly and keep your  shoulders relaxed.
  • Use a device like the BackJoy SitSmart to help engage core muscles and tilt the pelvis upright.
  • Don’t forget to walk around once an hour.

Standing:Capture

  • Balance your weight evenly on both feet, keeping them parallel on the ground.
  • Pull in your abdomen and buttocks, making sure to keep your hips upright.
  • Make sure your shoulders are pulled back and relaxed.
  • Try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways, and make sure your knees are relaxed — not locked.