Valentine’s day is on its way. What better way to express your love than standing tall and holding good posture? It is well documented that animals use posture and other body language to attract a mate. The peacock spider does a samba dance; the flamingo stands tall, lengthens its neck and hopes to get noticed. The bottom line is your posture matters!

Even humans use body language to find mates. Standing or sitting tall, an open chest, uncrossed arms and legs, an upward gaze and a smile represent availability. Looking down at your phone is not the way to go. So let’s talk posture…

Posture will not only help you in the romance department but posture has an enormous effect on your health. When you slouch or stoop your muscles and ligaments strain to keep you balanced which can then lead to back pain, headaches, digestive problems, stiffness, fatigue, breathing difficulty, sciatica and much more. Correct alignment of the back has three natural curves:

An inward or forward curve at the neck (cervical curve) An outward or backward curve at the upper back (thoracic curve)An inward curve at the lower back (lumbar curve)

Unsure if you are nailing correct alignment? The Mayo clinic recommends taking the wall test to evaluate your posture:

Doing the wall test throughout your day is an easy way to check in on your posture. If you find that it is extremely difficult to maintain that posture it may be a good idea to visit your physical therapist on how to correct and maintain good posture. A physical therapist can provide you with exercises that support strength and alignment. Additionally, new research concludes that posture also affects what we think about ourselves. Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist that shows how “power posing” (standing in a posture of confidence) can impact our chances at success.

Check out her TED talk:

So this Valentines Day, be mindful of your posture. Stand tall, pull your shoulder blades back and down. Keep your earlobes over your shoulders. Pull your belly in, lift your weight upward off the pelvis. And most importantly, smile at your sweetheart. Happy Valentine’s Day!