As we age the integrity and state of our posture can often begin to decline.
This is due to a multitude of reasons, and can include causes such as unnatural curves in the spine, genetics, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, stress, inactivity, slouching or poor ergonomics, and even injury.
Despite the underlying cause, the effects of poor posture are most often debilitating on ones lifestyle. As poor posture can lead to complications including:
- Back pain
- Jaw Pain
- Heart Burn
- Limited lung capacity
- Spinal dysfunction
- Constricted Nerves
- Joint degeneration
- Reduced range of motion, as muscles and ligaments either tighten or stretch with poor posture mechanisms.
Correct posture is important. In fact, it is vital to your overall health.
Good posture ensures that your bones are well aligned, reduces tension on the muscles and ligaments, and keeps the body and all its parts under minimal stress.
- Enables our muscles to coordinate efficiently, which then reduces muscle fatigue and enhances our endurance.
- Maintains spinal alignment, which in turn minimises stress or undue tension on the ligaments and muscles.
- Aids in combating back and muscular pain.
- Reduces the risk of injury.
- Decreases degeneration of the joints in the body, by ensuring our muscles are used correctly, which can then in turn combat issues like arthritis.
The good news is that poor posture can be corrected! With awareness, dedication, and a few habit moderations you can begin to correct your posture today.
Here are our top five tips for correcting poor posture:
- Exercise regularly! In a recent study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that participants who used a prescribed exercise program saw reduced pain levels in the shoulders and in their mid and low backs.
Exercises which focus on alignment of the neck,
shoulders and spine, along with core strengthening
exercises, are great for improving posture.
- Practice Yoga and Pilates. The practices of both Yoga and Pilates are specifically designed to maintain spine alignment and strengthen our core muscles.
- Become aware of your shoulders and general posture. Often we will forget to even think about what state our posture is in. Busy at work, hunched over a keyboard, slumped into the couch watching TV, or huddled over our phone screens- it is all too common for people to develop poor posture mechanisms and forget to think to correct these.
Becoming aware of your posture, and getting into the habit
of straightening up, taking a deep breath, standing tall, and
pulling your shoulder-blades back across your back, and
your shoulders back into alignment will make a world of
difference to the long-term condition of your posture.
- Stretch! Stretching can help to lengthen muscles and ligaments under stress, and can also increase your joints range of movement. As such, by stretching, you will combat the negative effects of poor posture, and increase your flexibility and ability to build better posture habits.
- Get an eye test! Often those with poor eyesight will lean in closer to see the things they are looking at. For some, this will mean sitting for hours at a time hunched over, with your shoulders and spine out of correct postural alignment.
If you are unsure about your eyesight, it is important to
have it tested by an Optometrist.
Small steps and daily commitment are the way to create the changes you want to see. So make up your mind, become posture aware, and even set a daily reminder if you like.
If you have any questions or concerns about your posture or are presenting with any back or neck pain that you worry might be posture related. Our professional team of Physiotherapists can help design you a personalised exercise program which can help to combat poor postural and movement mechanisms.
Please also note that the information contained within this newsletter is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. And that MoveWell 2 LiveWell advises to always seek the advice of your Physiotherapist, doctor, or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns that you may have about your health and your medical condition.
Stay healthy, active, and well!