The human body simply needs to be in alignment. If it is, we are more efficient standing in gravity and we are not ‘hanging’ on our muscles and ligaments. Our weight is being supported effortlessly. Better still, we feel healthy, have bags of energy and move gracefully. This is not just about standing up straight; it’s about postural awareness and developing and maintaining great habits.
Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. In fact, 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.
Good 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.
How do you put yourself in good posture?
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. This should sit directly over the pelvis, which sits directly over the knees and ankles.
Unfortunately today, if you spend hours every day hunched forward at a computer for example, or you work standing, leaning forward at a work station, the muscles of your neck and back must now carry all the weight of the body hour after hour, day after day, rather than it being in balance, supported by the spine. The resulting tension and joint pressure causes shoulder, neck and back pain and very often leads to tension headaches. Unfortunately this type of stress can also lead to a short attention span, and depression.
Posture Good & Bad
Poor posture distorts the alignment of bones, causing 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 reduced mental alertness, and decreased productivity at work. And, all because of a lack of awareness and/or laziness.
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.”
The most immediate problem with poor posture is that it creates a lot of chronic muscle tension as 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 is actually happening is that there is an increase in the rate of aging of these areas as degenerative changes accelerate. Obviously this is not a good thing and healthy change is certainly advised.
Correcting bad posture must be approached in two areas:
The first is by eliminating as much “bad” stress from your body as possible. Improve your posture! 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, or car seat, or 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 in order 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 result in the destruction of 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 posture?
Now! Poor posture is often not apparent because of its gradual progression over time. However, ALL individuals with poor posture will start noticing its side effects such as painful neck and back, daily and constant fatigue, as well as weak muscles etc.It is much easier to maintain good posture than to regain it once the body has adapted in a bad way and assumed a new you. If you are losing your posture then the earlier you take steps to improve things the better.
For people who have approached us early enough our success rate in improving postures is almost 100% for those who have followed our recommendations.
Don’t waste time; call today on +65 6224 6326 for your postural evaluation at Total Health Chiropractic