What does your posture say about you? Are you the person who is standing up tall and straight with good posture, or the person who looks 10 years older due to a degenerated, bent forward posture? It ‘s amazing the effect that good posture has not only on your appearance, but also your level of self-confidence. How you carry your body is how you present yourself to the world. So whether you are out to dinner with friends or taking a walk downtown, always bring your best posture with you.
In addition to the aesthetic advantage of having good posture, there are many important health benefits as well. Correct posture is a proactive strategy to maintain your health in proper “alignment.” Postural distortions of the spine weaken the functional capacity of the body, leading to otherwise avoidable injuries and illnesses.
Postural Specialists recommend chiropractic care to keep the body in proper alignment and postural rehabilitation exercises to correct muscular dysfunction patterns. In addition to proper spinal alignment and postural rehabilitation, it is necessary to take immediate action in improving your daily postural habits.
Learning and implementing proper postural habits in your daily life is not just about knowing what to do; it’s important to also know WHAT NOT TO DO. Read below to see the top 5 things that people with good posture DON’T do.
1) Sit in uncomfortable chairs: Why? Because the majority of the population spends more than 8 hours a day sitting! Having an ergonomically correct chair is essential to maintain good posture throughout the day. While you are sitting remember to keep your spine straight and avoid slumping your shoulders forward. Maintaining good seated posture starts with core muscular activation.
2) Take long road trips without stopping: To protect your back while traveling, it is important to stop and do occasional stretching. Sitting for long periods of time causes increased stress to your lower back. While traveling, stop every couple of hours, take a short walk and stretch your legs and lower back. Even a break of just 30 seconds is better than not taking a break at all.
3) Wear old worn out shoes: Your feet are the foundation of your posture. To protect your feet, wear shoes that support the natural design of the foot. If your feet are not properly supported, this will lead to postural distortion patterns of the hips and spine. So throw out the old worn out tennis shoes and invest in new shoes to comfortably support the arches of your feet.
4) Look down while walking: People who have good posture walk with their head up and shoulders back demonstrating confidence. Looking down causes tension to the cervical spine, due to an anterior placement of the weight of the head. Looking down for prolonged periods of time causes muscular rigidity and increased compression of the cervical vertebral discs.
5) Skip exercise sessions: As human beings we were born to move! Yet the majority of the population is sedentary. This is a modern day health epidemic causing many health consequences, including weak posture. To increase your Postural Fitness do postural exercises each day that strengthen the principle postural muscles.
Dr. Krista Burns DC, DRHA, CPEP, CPS
Doctor of Chiropractic
Doctor of Health Administration
Certified Postural Specialist
Co-Founder American Posture Institute
Posture by Design, Not by Circumstance