“If our body is well aligned, with good posture, we are far more likely to be healthy. We look good, move gracefully, have plenty of energy, and avoid most of the arthritic conditions that plague society today. With good posture our weight is being supported effortlessly. This is not just about standing up straight; it’s about postural awareness and developing and maintaining great habits. There is nothing more exhausting than posture……we are literally ‘fighting’ against gravity. This is a fight you cannot win, and it WILL cost you your health!”
-Dr Tim Errington
Our body simply needs to be in alignment
Vibrant health and poor posture……cannot coexist!
Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. Never did you see vibrant health and poor posture live in the same body. This is, without question, as important as eating right, exercising, getting proper rest, and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.
Proper posture is a way of doing things efficiently, with more energy, less stress, and fatigue. If you have poor posture, it is not possible to be as fit as you could be. In fact, you are less likely to exercise as it is harder work. There is much-wasted potential. You can also cause damage to your spine when you exercise.
Your head weighs 5 kgs!
Our bones should be stacked up one upon the other. The heavy 5Kg head must rest directly over the shoulder, balancing on top of the spine. The head should sit directly over the pelvis, which sits directly over the knees.
The resulting tension and joint pressure cause shoulder, neck and back pain and very often lead to tension headaches. Unfortunately, this type of stress can also lead to a short attention span and depression.
Posture - Bad & Good
These poor postures distort the alignment of bones, cause chronic muscle tightness, and will eventually lead to reduced vital lung capacity, increased fatigue, reduced blood and oxygen to the brain, limited range of motion, stiffness of joints, and various pain syndromes. With all this comes diminished mental alertness, and decreased productivity at work.
Reduced vital lung capacity, increased fatigue, decreased blood and oxygen to the brain
According to the Nobel Laureate Dr. Roger Sperry, “the more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism, and healing.”
An increase in the rate of aging with poor posture
The most immediate problem with poor posture is that it creates a lot of chronic muscle tension. The weight of the head and upper body must be supported by the muscles instead of the bones. This effect becomes more pronounced the further your posture deviates from your body’s center of balance. The muscles become increasingly starved of blood and oxygen and become more fibrotic as they lose their elasticity.
Typically the person will start to complain of shoulder pain and increasingly a stiff neck. What happens is the rate of aging increases in these areas as degenerative changes accelerate. This increase in aging is not a good thing, and a healthy change must be implemented.
Correcting bad posture must be approached in two areas:
The first is by eliminating as much “bad” stress from your body as possible. This will include all the factors, habits, or stressors that cause your body to deviate from your structural center or balance. This could be a poorly adjusted workstation, car seat, even from carrying too much weight around in a heavy handbag or backpack.
The second is by applying “good” stress on the body in an effort to move your posture back toward your center of balance; to make the correction. This is accomplished through a series of exercises, stretches, adjustments, and changes to your physical environment, all designed to help correct your posture. Getting your body back to its center of balance by improving your posture is critically important to your future health and the pain you feel.
Poor Posture In The News
A recent medical journal confirmed the fact that those with the worst posture died the earliest. Too much curve in the mid-back or the early stages of the development of a ‘hump’ increases mortality (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society). So, this confirms what we’ve been saying for years. Not only does bad posture look awful, but it also shortens your life!
A forward kink or reversed curve of the cervical spine can destroy nerve fibers leading to disease development due to chronic compression of the spinal cord. (“Spine” Volume 30(21), November 1, 2005)
ALL of the relevant research today supports the fact that investing in a healthy spine is your best investment for a healthy future.
When should you start worrying about poor posture?
Now! Poor posture is often not apparent because of its gradual progression over time. However, individuals with poor posture will ALL start noticing their side effects. The side effects consist of painful neck and shoulder tension, headaches, back pain, as well as daily and constant fatigue, weak muscles, etc.
It is much easier to maintain good posture than to regain it once the body has adapted in the wrong way and assumed a new you. If you are losing your posture, then the earlier you take steps to improve things, the better.