Good Posture and its effects on our health
Hey Again, Dr. T here with our weekly blog
As a chiropractor I hear it all the time, “How is my posture?” and the all important “Why do I even need good posture?” Typically, the average person thinks of posture as just something with no function and only plays a role in appearance; when in all actuality the way we sit and stand can greatly improve our overall health. Today will talk about how posture effects our health, what we can do to help our posture, and what health changes we may notice when posture is improved.
So how does posture effect our health? Posture is what helps with the body’s natural ability to fight degenerative changes of the spine. Degeneration or “wear and tear of the joints” may occur when abnormal muscle, ligament, and joint use becomes so severe that the body is unable to move properly. When we get improper movement of the joints, or gravity acts on an improper way on the spine, we will get an increase in degeneration. Common places for degeneration to occur include the cervical spine (neck), lumbar spine (low back), knees, and ankles to name a few.
So, what are some of the basic things that you can do to help with your posture. One of the biggest changes we can do is use proper ergonomics with our electronics. This day and age we are glued to computers, smart phones, tablets, and hand-held video games. This is causing us to all look down at the world when we should all be looking up at it. When using your technology try to keep it out in front of you, not having to look down at the screen. When looking at computer monitors, try being close with the screen raised up to eye level, be in close to the desk so that you don’t have to sit on the edge of your seat which typically leads to slouching. When possible take breaks to get up and move around some. This allows you to make sure muscle crepitus doesn’t set in causing irregular skeletal muscle function.
Posture doesn’t only affect the skeletal system though. Functions such as breathing mechanics, and air compacity can also be affected. Recent studies have showed strong links between posture and the effects on the mechanics of the diaphragm, total volume capacity of the lungs, and vital capacity of the lungs. One study showed an increase of as much as 25% more oxygen into the lungs for someone with proper sitting posture in comparison to an improper sitting posture or slouching.
If you are having trouble with your posture or have more questions, come on by to Hohman Rehab or physical therapy. Either myself or one of the Physical Therapist can show you some great corrective techniques, or schedule an appointment for a chance to see what we can do from a conservative, structural corrective standpoint.