you ever noticed a famous actor, known for their good looks, maybe Brad
Pitt, standing stooped over? Of course not! Part of the appeal is their
tall, proud posture, whether you consciously notice or not. Perhaps
that’s why no childhood is complete without an occasional reminder to
“Sit up straight!” Your mom was training you to become a Hollywood star.
the desire for your own good posture could be due to the effect that
poor posture has on your visual appearance, it may surprise you that
posture has much more to do with whether you look proper or sloppy.
Let’s look at another type of celebrity – a singer such as Adele, and
try a little experiment on yourself. Sing your favourite song, or the
national anthem with your shoulders rounded forward and head stooped
down. Your whole chest caves in and prohibits your lungs from expanding
and your voice from belting out those big musical notes. It’s much
harder to sing properly without good posture. Remember Usain Bolt, the
fastest human? Do you think he’d run as fast and place as well if he
kept his head down?
If you’re concerned with your health you
should know that the way you carry your body physically can have a major
impact on your physical performance and mental sense of well-being.
Studies are now showing the connection between poor posture and health
problems ranging from weight gain, insomnia, and even depression and
mental decline. Chiropractors are well aware of the significance of this
connection between posture and health, which makes them a reliable
authority on this and how it relies on good spinal health.
are many causes of poor posture. In some people, unfortunately postural
issues are due to other conditions or diseases that involve bone
deformity or bone loss, however, in the vast majority of cases, posture
is directly related to a person’s habits and daily activities. Here are
some of the most common causes of poor posture:
Looking down a lot during activities such as using a cellphone or playing video games
Working at a desk or computer for long periods of time (even at a desk with good ergonomics)
Poor ergonomics at work (chairs, desks, keyboards)
Improper sleep support (mattress, pillows)
Poor self-esteem (people with low self-esteem tend to have a flexed/inward posture as a way to avoid being noticed)
As noted, there can be other health conditions and diseases that can
contribute to poor posture, but as you can see, most contributors to
poor posture are also things that are within your control.
and other health experts have found that people who have a tendency to
slouch while standing, sitting, and even walking also tend to experience
many kinds of health conditions, which can be mild or even severe. Many
health problems such as headaches, muscle stiffness, shortness of
breath, susceptibility to infectious illnesses, may actually be
indirectly impacted by your posture and the positioning of your spinal
Your spine is important because it keeps your entire body
in alignment and balance. It also houses and is meant to protect your
central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). Your nervous system is
responsible for the communication between your body and brain. The
better your spinal alignment, the easier it is for your brain and body
to share information and maintain good posture. Slouching, and being in
poor posture makes it harder for this to happen – signals don’t transmit
as well and muscles have to work harder to try to keep you upright.
This extra, more difficult work can degrade the health of the spine and
nervous system over time. When your brain and body need to work harder
on your posture, they work less on keeping your other systems and
functions working optimally. As this happens to the nervous system,
other functions of the body may begin to have trouble working correctly,
leading to inflammation, digestive issues, and more.
How To Keep Good Posture All Day Every Day
you want to avoid these health problems, you’ll want to focus on
maintaining proper posture as often as you can. It may be as simple as
reminding yourself throughout the day to keep your shoulders pulled
back, your head held high atop your neck and torso, and your spine in a
neutral position as much it can.
If you find it difficult to
maintain these positions of proper posture, it is a sign you need the
professional help of a chiropractor. Your poor posture can be due to a
combination of factors that include poor spinal alignment, poor nervous
system signal flow, and muscle weakness. In most cases, these problems
can all be corrected with a properly designed and executed plan that
addresses all three of these issues as needed.
Do You Have Poor Posture?
Here is a simple test than can be an indicator of poor posture:
Have someone take a picture of you standing without shoes on a flat
surface, looking ahead of you. Think of a side profile of a police mug
shot, for your whole body, top to bottom. The person will likely have to
stand 10-15 feet away.
Draw a straight vertical line from the inside of your ear down to the
floor. If the line doesn’t pass through the middle of your shoulder,
hip, knee and ankle, it’s likely you have poor posture.