The Importance of Good Posture
By Donna Stark
When I was growing up and my mom or my teachers would correct my posture, I always assumed it was simply for the sake of appearance. Good posture makes a person look better. Confident. Graceful. Handsome. Not sloppy. I was never told that my posture would actually impact my future health and I kind of wish I had been told because now I fear I am paying the price. If you are suffering from back or joint pain, if your physical or massage therapists are shocked by how much your shoulders are unnaturally pulled forward, or if you are experiencing headaches more often than not, it may be due to years of poor posture.
What is Good Posture?
Good posture isn't something we always think about, and unfortunately, the effects of not doing so can be significant to our overall health and wellness. Posture is the position in which the body is held and carried, and although you were probably corrected the most as a child when you were sitting, it also applies to the times when you are standing and lying down. Good posture supports and encourages the correct alignment of your spine and optimal function of your muscles and joints.
Effects of Poor Posture
Unfortunately, the impact of poor posture affects much more than your appearance. Take a look at some of its effects here.
- Joint pain - Poor posture can lead to a tremendous amount of future aches and pains in your back, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. When your body is not aligned properly, it is forced to move in a way that it wasn't designed to, increasing the chance of added stress and strain on the joints.
- Poor circulation - Holding your body in an incorrect position for long periods of time can significantly affect your circulation, so get up and take breaks often. This will improve your blood flow and can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, varicose veins, and even poor breathing!
- Headaches - Don't forget that good posture includes the correct position of your head! By keeping your head in a neutral position throughout your work day, you can reduce the risk of stiff muscles in your neck, back, and shoulders, which can also reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches.
- Fatigue - Poor posture is an energy zapper! It's the most inefficient and tiring way to use your body because your muscles, joints, and ligaments have to bear more strain and work harder than they should. So show them some love and give them a break!
Improving Your Posture
Developing good posture is a matter of paying attention and staying intentional with how you carry your body. You may need to break some old habits and develop new ones, but once you start making the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle, you will find it becomes easier and easier over time!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spartanburg, S.C.