Has a parent ever told you to sit up, stand up straight or stop slouching? If so, their advice is sound. Sitting, standing or lying with your body properly positioned offers numerous health benefits, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

“Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities,” explain ACA experts.

What’s more, good posture keeps our spine flexible, reduces abnormal wearing of joint surfaces, and prevents fatigue and back pain. Also, people with an erect carriage just look better.

In general, several muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, help us to stand tall without even thinking about it. But it’s easy to override this assistance our bodies offer.

Some factors that contribute to poor postural habits include stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak and tight postural muscles, and wearing high-heeled shoes.

A chiropractor can suggest exercises to help correct your posture. But nothing beats being aware of your body position and knowing what posture is correct. Says the ACA, this helps you consciously correct yourself.