When it comes to good posture, you have everything to gain by ensuring that your body is properly aligned at all times, whether you’re on your feet or in your chair. From better balance to less neck and back pain, maintaining good posture delivers myriad benefits that will keep your musculoskeletal system functioning optimally.
At Elevate Medical, our team of expert providers understands the importance of good posture, and we encourage our patients to sit up and pay heed. To help with your posture, we’ve pulled together a look at just some of the advantages of good posture and how to get it.
The health risks of poor posture
At the foundation of your musculoskeletal system lies your spine, which is made up of 33 vertebrae that stretch from your head to your pelvis. Your spine is ground zero for providing your body with support, mobility, and range of motion, so great preventive practices start with your spine.
Unfortunately, Americans lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles sitting behind desks and computers and, making matters worse, our heads are often facing downward to look at screens or keyboards.
This seated position compresses your spine and throws your core muscles off balance, which can affect the function of both your upper and lower body.
Moving up your spine, if you stand or sit with your shoulders hunched forward, this places added pressure on your spine, especially in your neck.
The bottom line is that poor posture can affect every part of your body, leaving some muscles and joints overtaxed and others too tight, which can lead to injury or pain. As well, poor posture can affect your digestion and breathing, which rely on proper spinal alignment for resources to flow more freely.
Lastly, consider the social effects of poor posture. Think about a hunched position versus a tall confident position and the message each one sends.
Understanding good posture
The words “good posture” mean far more than simply standing or sitting up straight, though these are good places to start. The goal with good posture is to maintain a neutral spine, which means not too hunched or overly arched.
Other factors that contribute to better posture include keeping your:
- Chin up and parallel to the floor
- Feet evenly on the floor
- Abdominal muscles engaged
- Shoulders back and relaxed
- Arms at your sides
To help with your posture, you’d do well to strengthen the muscles in your back and abdomen, which goes a long way toward helping your spine maintain a neutral position. You should also be mindful of sitting for too long and take frequent breaks to stretch your spine, shoulders, and hips.
There are also some great apps, posture devices, and even a simple timer that will help remind you to correct your posture throughout the day.
We also recommend that you seek regular chiropractic care with us to ensure that your spine is properly aligned.
If you’d like to explore more ways that you can improve your posture for better health, we’re happy to sit down with you. Simply contact our office in Littleton, Colorado, by phone or with our online booking tool to set up an appointment.