Why your posture plays an important role in your health

You were probably told as a child to ‘sit up straight’ and to watch your posture. But did you ever think about why your posture is important, apart from the obvious reason that an upright posture looks better? You probably know that your posture is the way you hold your body up against gravity while you’re standing, sitting and lying down. But did you know your posture is directly related to your health?

With proper posture you need minimal effort holding your body up against gravity. Contrary to what many people believe, good posture depends on the position and functioning of your spine, and not so much on how strong your muscles are. When your spine experiences physical stresses like falls, accidents or prolonged sitting your body cannot always self-correct the resulted misaligned spinal bones, and your posture starts to collapse. Of course your muscles help to keep your body upright, but no matter how strong they are, after a while they will fatigue and your posture will start to collapse.

Your spine protects you spinal cord (the central connection between your brain and the rest of your body). Because of this influence on your nervous system, proper posture plays a very important role in optimal health and wellness. Posture is not just about how you look on the outside, it’s about how you function on the inside. Proper posture helps you look better, feel better, and move better. When your posture is good your organs function better too.

Have you ever noticed your head moving forward when you’re sitting down working behind a computer? Look around at your colleagues and see how many people have the same problem. When your head is too far forward this puts a lot of stress on the spinal joints in your neck. This can in turn cause neck pain, headaches, pain and tingling in your arms and also affect your energy levels.

When you slouch and your upper back bends backwards this can cause pain in your upper back, problems in your shoulders and arms and even influence your digestion, circulation and breathing. Many people don’t realize that it’s harder to breath while you’re slouching. This is because your diaphragm doesn’t work properly when you have a bad posture. When you improve your posture you’ll be able to breathe better, which increases your oxygen consumption and improves your circulation.

Don’t forget everything in your body is connected! Your body adapts to changes and compensates for problems in other places. If you have postural problems in your lower back, you will probably also have them in your upper back or neck and vice versa.

A good way to find out more about your posture (or if your problems may be related to your posture) is to check your posture in the mirror at home. The best way to check your posture is to breathe in, breathe out and let your body slump. This way you can see what the structural framework of your body actually looks like without your muscles holding you up. This is the position you will naturally go back to when you’re sitting or standing for long periods of time.

Of course you can train your muscles to make sure you can keep your body up longer, but wouldn’t you rather fix the underlying cause of your bad posture? At Chiropractie De Pijp I use special techniques for postural correction. Do you have problems that you feel might be related to your posture, and do you want to fix it? Make an appointment today and we’ll get started as soon as possible!