As children we are often told to sit up straight, to refrain from slouching and to walk upright and not slump over. Well, besides getting such stellar advice from those around us, these tips are actually beneficial to our overall health.
This is because there is more evidence being found to support the notion that good posture contributes to a range of health benefits. Standing tall as well as sitting upright can do a multitude of things from reducing back and joint pain to boosting mood.
Good posture goes past just simply standing with your shoulders thrown back, it should permeate every movement too. Having good and proper alignment of the spine and limbs while standing as well as having the ears over the shoulders, shoulders over hips, and hips over the knees and ankles is key. Body weight should be distributed evenly between the feet, too.
Posture shouldn’t just stop being as best as it can be when you’re standing or sitting, it should also be had while walking, getting up out of a chair or using a cellphone or tablet; especially in a day and age where tablets, cell pones and laptops are used on a frequent basis. All of these electronics require the head to be pointed in a certain direction and angle. Not doing so in the correct manner can drastically alter alignment and affect health.
The structure of the spine is critical to the full functionality of life in us all. Being constantly hunched-over due to constant usage of electronic devices is becoming a growing concern, and is sparking new back and neck pain problems for those of a young age.
Because poor posture can often be due to severe obesity or weak muscle tone, correcting it is often a lengthy and expensive process if left untreated. Even for those who are in good shape, bad posture habits can be so ingrained that it takes constant vigilance and a healthy routine to improve them.
One of the most common posture problems is kyphosis, which is a direct result of spending too much time in front of a computer. The symptoms include shoulders hunched forward, the pectoral muscles in the chest tightened, the neck and head extend toward the computer screen, and the spine is no longer vertically aligned. This has now become a problem in the way in which many who suffer from this walk as well.
Kyphosis is combatted by proper stretching of the pectoral muscles and the trapezius muscles in the upper back. Doing this help to hold the shoulder blades back. While walking, remembering to keep the ears and head over the shoulders and not jutting forward is also important.
Another common problem is lordosis, or swayback, where the lower spine curves inward. Strengthening the core muscles around the trunk and pelvis can help to rid the body of this.
Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.