By Doctor Rosemarie Jabbour (Chiropractor)
The secret power you didn't know you had - the power of your posture!
Many of us experience an increasingly sedentary lifestyle: whether it be sitting for hours at a time behind a computer, long commutes to work or general inactivity.
We need to once more look to the importance of posture and the positive benefits this can bring to our lives.
As a chiropractor, I know just how important good posture is (and I tell you this!). Posture has an effect on both your body’s physical function as well as your overall health. In my two decades as a primary healthcare practitioner I have documented, assessed and worked to correct countless cases of postural problems. The effects of poor posture are well documented, ranging from physical (muscle pain, restricted breathing and digestion), through to effects on our mental and emotional wellbeing.
Impacts of poor posture
Over time, if poor posture habits aren't corrected, your body can become ‘stuck’: for many people this represents the ‘new norm’. In some cases, the body can’t self correct, leading to potential impacts on normal function. For example:
- A slouching posture may put pressure on the internal organs.
- A forward head posture may put pressure on the spinal cord and contribute to muscle tension or headaches.
- A compressed rib cage may restrict breathing, oxygen flow and blood circulation.
- Poor posture may contribute to feelings of pain, back pain and discomfort.
- Poor posture may impact your self-esteem and confidence, contributing to negative body image issues.
- Poor posture may limit your ability to exercise or may cause back pain while running.
The secret power of posture
When your body is in an upright and natural posture, you are biomechanically balanced and better able to carry out daily tasks and activities.
Recent research suggests good posture has a positive effect on mood, concentration and energy levels.
“Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture. Furthermore, sitting upright increases rate of speech and reduces self-focus” (1)
Here at New World Chiro, I help patients discover the benefits that chiropractic and improved posture may offer them. In my experience, chiropractic care helps in some cases and I often observe patients not only look better, but move, bend and stretch better. Posture improvements can really give you a new outlook on life.
5 tips to improve your posture...starting now!
Tip 1: Standing and Walking
Be aware of your posture while standing and walking. Engage your abdominal muscles, take long, even strides and hold your head up. When standing still, don’t slouch, lean on things or shift your weight onto one leg.
Tip 2: Sitting
If you sit for long periods of time, try taking a ten-minute break every hour. Stand up, stretch your legs, move around and get active. When sitting, if your office chair is adjustable, try tilting your seat so it’s lower at the front and slightly higher at the back. This lifts your bottom above your knees and positions the spine in an upright and relaxed S-curve.
Tip 3: Sleeping
Given that we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed, it’s important to have good sleeping habits. Aim to lay on your back and support your spine with a firm mattress. Try a chiropractic pillow or come into clinic for a sleep consultation.
Tip 4: Regular Activity
I recommend activities such as walking, cycling, swimming, yoga and pilates as they work well with your regular chiropractic adjustments. Remember to stretch after any exercise, and make stretching a part of your daily routine.
Tip 5: Chiropractic Care
Reclaim control of your life today – manage pain, improve posture and feel better with chiropractic care. The team at New World Chiro are trained in the management of posture cases. Chiropractic is generally regarded as a safe, effective and natural way to manage pain and correct many of the ailments we suffer in modern life. There are many paths down the road to wellness, let's find the one that suits you.
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- Nair, Shwetha; Sagar, Mark; Sollers III, John; Consedine, Nathan; Broadbent, Elizabeth, 2015. ‘Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial.’ Health Psychology, Vol 34(6), Jun 2015, 632-641. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/hea0000146