Healthy Lifestyle Blog

The Posture Epidemic

Poor posture is becoming an epidemic – and not just for adults.  Posture is incredibly important for not only how the body feels, but also how it functions.  One of the root causes of poor posture is undoubtedly our dependence on technology.  Computers, tablets, and cellphones help connect us and we are all spending more and more time using them.  Unfortunately, this has come at a cost.  Sitting at a computer or browsing through a phone is putting many people’s spines at an increased risk of early degeneration and disease.  Fortunately, there is something you can do about it.

How many times have you heard someone say, “I carry my stress in my shoulders”?  What they are really feeling is poor posture: numerous musculoskeletal problems like neck pain, back pain, joint dysfunction, decreased range of motion, misalignment, disc disease and spinal deterioration are all the symptoms of improper posture.  Posture is a snapshot of the health of our spine and often goes unrecognized because it is not something that happens overnight.  It is a process that may take years to develop, which is why it is so important to start as early as possible to maintain proper posture.

What we know about posture.

Studies have shown that poor posture will reduce the ability of the spinal cord to function properly.  When the spinal cord is not functioning properly, numerous health problems may arise.  For example, poor posture will decrease the amount of air we breathe into our lungs by up to 30%.  It will decrease spinal motion and cause “brain fog,” because 80% or the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is a result of the motion of the vertebra.  A study in 2011 found that just one day of sitting can decrease the body’s insulin response leading to an increased risk for diabetes.  Dr. Amy Cuddy found that by simply improving posture, the body will naturally restore proper hormone levels in both men and women.  The list goes on and on.  Posture is clearly a key to staying healthy!

There is good news!

Here is the good news: everyone can improve their posture starting at any age!  The biggest change can happen at your desk.  Sitting upright keeping your elbows and knees at 90 degrees is the best way to sit at work.  While holding your cell phone keep it at shoulder height or above to avoid looking down at your phone.  Also, keep an eye on your children, as the tablet or phone is quickly becoming our children’s new babysitter and it is taking its toll.  It is imperative we preserve proper posture through all stages of life especially early on in life when our bodies are still growing.

To create lasting changes in your posture, check out the exercises you can do here.  Or visit us to have a complete posture and spinal health evaluation.  Our mission is to improve the health of our communities and we look forward to meeting you.  

 

Article by Dr. Nicholas J Wilson

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