Why Having Good Posture Matters
Start writing a post
Arts Entertainment

Why Having Good Posture Matters

Why Is Having a Good Posture Important?

142
Why Having Good Posture Matters

As children, we are constantly told to sit up straight. Our mothers would warn that slouching could make us grow up with a hunchback. She would say our bad posture made us look tired and lazy, and she was right. However, good posture is just as important when we're adults.

In fact, the National Posture Institute published an article back in June of 2014 that talked about all the ways our posture directly effects our overall health. As it turns out, the way we sit or stand has more to do with how well we live and less to do with how good we look, although proper posture can improve a person's appearance tremendously.

According to that publication, bad posture can cause the following:

  • Increased risk of digestive problems, including:
    • Heartburn
    • Indigestion
    • Constipation
    • Gas
  • Decreased lung capacity, which might involve:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Dizziness
  • Appearance of weight gain
  • Dental issues
  • Headaches
  • Unbalanced hormone levels

While those side effects of bad posture may sound serious enough as it is, the fact of the matter is simple (and surprising): improper posture can cause long-term health problems. Moreover, sitting and standing the wrong way even can get you hurt. The American Posture Institute agrees, finding recently that bad posture is a leading cause of falls and injuries, especially among the elderly.

What Is Posture?

Put simply, "posture" is defined as the position in which your body is sitting or standing at any given time. Whether static or dynamic (a.k.a. sitting still or in motion), a person always has a posture. Furthermore, whether that person has good posture or bad posture depends on a variety of factors. While poor posture can be the result of a birth defect or injury, most improper posture is strictly habit.

According to most chiropractic experts, there are four main types of posture to consider:

1. Standing Posture

Standing correctly involves making sure your ears are in line with your shoulders, hips and ankles.

2. Laying Posture

The American Chiropractic Association says that lying down correctly involves keeping the cervical spine in a neutral position by using the right pillow and not sleeping on your stomach.

3. Sitting Posture

Proper posture while sitting includes keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle with your feet hip-width apart. Also, your spine should be erect with your shoulders rolled down and back.

4. Exercising Posture

The type of posture deemed correct for workouts is based on the kind of exercise being done. Talk to a personal trainer for more information about equipment-specific postures, as incorrect usage can cause serious injury.

The Connection Between Posture and Health

It has long been accepted that bad posture can make a person look less alert and feel less comfortable. However, it wasn't until the last couple decades that scientists understood the direct correlation between posture and health. Now, scientists are saying that bad posture can actually kill you:

"Older men and women with (bad) posture have higher mortality rates [than those who don't]." – Journal of American Geriatrics Society, 2004.

What this suggests is that all the dieting and exercise in the world cannot help someone whose posture isn't correct, especially as they age. Whether we live healthy lifestyles is not the question. According to research, our posture has as much baring on the quality of our lives as the activities we participate in and the foods we eat.

The reason posture has such a significant effect on a person's overall health is best understood from a musculoskeletal perspective. The part of the body that's not being adequately supported will likely be the area in which the negative side effects are noticed. For example, a person who slouches may experience shortness of breath or fatigue due to decreased lung capacity.

While being unable to take full breaths may seem like a simple problem, most poor posture is done out of habit and is thus habitual. Unfortunately, habitually limiting the quality of one's oxygen intake can have many serious consequences, including:

  • Decreased cognitive function
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Confusion
  • Inflammation
  • Impaired metabolic function
  • Loss of vision
  • Reduced stamina
  • Chronic back/joint pain
  • Decreased life expectancy, typically due to:
    • Increased risk of heart attack
    • Increased risk of stroke

Keep in mind that decreased lung capacity due to bad posture is only a small piece to a much bigger, more alarming puzzle. The resulting long-term digestive problems, debilitating headaches, dental issues, and hormonal imbalances can have life-threatening side effects as well.

The main idea is this: poor posture can cause significant back and joint pain, not to mention chest depression – a side effect that can decrease the amount of space available for organs in the abdominal and thoracic cavities. Unfortunately, this decrease of space creates an automatic increase in pressure. As a result, most health problems stemming from bad posture are due to that intensification of internal compression.

5 Tips to Improve Your Posture

According to experts at Harvard Medical School, good posture means the following:

1. Keep Your Spine in a Neutral Position

Good posture doesn't mean standing at attention like a soldier. It simply means keeping your spine in a neutral position. In other words, don't overly arch or flex the curve in your lower back.

2. Make Sure Your Core Muscles Are Strong

Strong core muscles are important for maintaining proper posture even when you're relaxed. Once the right posture is achieved, brace your abdominal muscles to hold it in place.

3. Have Regular Chiropractic Adjustments

Chances are, you've already done significant harm to your body because of bad posture. Most chiropractor Juneau is trained to make the necessary adjustments, giving you a clean and perfectly aligned slate while helping to heal any existing damage.

4. Position Your Chin Parallel to the Floor

No matter what you're doing, try to keep your chin in line with the floor. This will force the other parts of your body to automatically align.

5. Distribute Body Weight onto Both Feet

By keeping your weight evenly distributed between both feet, you reduce the amount of pressure on other parts of your body and limit the temptation to have bad posture.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Olivia White

"The American flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies from the last breath of each solider who died protecting it."

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Separation Anxiety in Pets

Separation anxiety in pets is a real thing and recognizing the warning signs is important.

173537

Since March, Covid-19 required most of the world to quarantine in their homes. Majority of people ended up working from home for nearly five months. This meant pet owners were constantly with their pets giving them attention, playing with them, letting them out etc. Therefore, when the world slowly started to open up again and pet owners began returning to normal life work schedules away from the home, pet owners noticed a difference in the way their pet acted. Many pets develop separation anxiety especially during this crazy time when majority people were stuck inside barely leaving the house.

Keep Reading... Show less
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

349530

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1753968

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

1110257
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

989856
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

650997
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments