Most of the health problems we face in life stem from habits we form earlier in life. You may or may not agree with this statement but the fact stands. Certain bad habits we carry out over the years can result in poor posture that translates into serious health problems in the future.
It is a well-known fact that poor posture can be the cause of many health problems, including but not limited to, back pain and several spinal problems. Even so, very few of us really know the health benefits of good posture.
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies when standing or sitting. Good posture implies there is no rigid formula. Rather, it is the position one finds it natural and comfortable to bear his or her body.
Nevertheless, we cannot maintain good posture without the help of our musculoskeletal system. It means that our joints, muscles and bones must be healthy in order to maintain good posture. The musculoskeletal system ensures we maintain the correct posture without us realizing it.
Two groups of muscles (the flexors and the extensors) maintain posture while several ligaments attach the muscles to the skeletal system. This prevents the natural forces of gravity from destabilizing us or causing unnecessary tension on parts of our bodies.
We also need the powerful postural muscles to maintain balance and posture during movement. At times, however, we need to be mindful of our posture throughout the day.
Correct posture means the shoulders are even; chin is maintained parallel to the floor; arms at our side with elbows even and straight; knees are even and pointing straight ahead; hips even; and body weight well distributed on both feet.
Poor posture need not necessarily result from bad habits. Certain conditions such as weak core muscles of the back, buttocks, pelvis and side can negatively affect posture. Inflexible muscles may also decrease the range of motion thereby interfering with alignment. Some would even use back or shoulder support to correct the posture.
As we have just learned, it becomes important to ensure you maintain good posture at all times. Why is it so important to maintain good posture?
Back pain is a classic symptom of poor posture and worsens with age. Maintaining good posture is critical to reducing and even eliminating neck and back pain.
Wrong posture such as slouching puts a lot of strain to our muscles and stress on the spine. With time, this changes the anatomical as well as physiological characteristics of the back structures such as blood vessels, nerves, joints and discs, leading to back pain. Good posture eliminates such strain and stress thereby protecting us from back pain.
Researchers have associated poor posture with musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis. Negative effects on nerves and blood vessels may also cause other problems.
Maintaining good posture reduces the rate of wear and tear of bones surfaces and joints. This not only protects from arthritis but also spinal problems such degenerative disc disease, and scoliosis. Risks of spinal injuries are also greatly reduced.
We breathe better when our airways are fully open. Maintaining proper posture ensures the cervical, thoracic and lumbar curves are aligned perfectly. That way, the trachea as well as the smaller airways is kept open for maximum inhalation and exhalation.
Proper breathing ensures better oxygen flow to our pulmonary system and proper excretion of carbon dioxide. Our blood will then carry sufficient concentration of oxygen to power dependent organs, nerves, and other tissues for proper functioning.
Everyone wants to look good. Good posture brings out our optimal height or can even make us appear taller than we usually are. With perfect alignment, we will look taller, fit and more charismatic. A reliable study found that people who stand or sit upright are show higher levels of confidence compared to the rest who do not assume such proper standing or sitting positions.
Many of us may wonder what posture has to do with weight. Researchers and practicing chiropractors have learned that sitting or standing upright allows people to lose weight.
It may not be clear how weight loss comes about but improved blood flow and nerve function improves the rate of metabolism, and other physiological processes that can help us lose weight. Good posture also takes tension away from our whole body allowing us to exercise better and more successfully.
Stress is a major cause of many health problems. Poor posture is a major cause of stress. Research has found that poor posture causes and perpetuates stress.
Assuming an upright sitting position when stressed can reduce our negative thoughts, improve and maintain our self-esteem and improve positive thoughts. Better breathing and blood flow afforded by correct posture also reduces stress and elevate positive mood.
In order to be productive, we need to concentrate, be alert and smart. It turns out that correct posture can actually improve our productivity by affecting our ability to concentrate on what we are doing.
Sitting or standing upright improves blood flow to our brains and that makes us alert and smart. Adopting a good posture will improve your productivity in the workplace, at home and or in schoolwork.
Here is a short video of simple exercises that will improve the hunchback and forward head posture
Maintaining good posture is vital for many reasons. In fact, it touches almost all aspects of our life. It touches your physical appearance, productivity, future health, mental performance and even your mood. It would be beneficial to let children know the importance of good posture, so as to build a good habit of standing or sitting straight.
You can check your posture on the mirror. If you are made aware and realize that your posture needs correcting, you must consciously take the earliest step to correct it to rip the numerous benefits of good posture. This is not a hard thing to do. Just find out what good posture entails and practice it. You will adopt the new habit sooner than you think.