(BeWellBuzz) Have you watched the movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”? Ever felt pity for the protagonist? One would think – he’s such a nice guy, but he has a hunched back so he can’t get the pretty girl. Time and again, we have been warned by our elders that if we don’t sit up or walk straight, we will end up just like Quasimodo!
However, many kids and even adults don’t take their sitting and standing postures seriously. They are simply oblivious about their slouch while sitting in front of the computer or even while watching TV. Does it have any implications on the overall health? Let us find out how bad posture can impact your life.
Why Is The Right Posture So Important To Us?
As kids, your body can adapt to any kind of stress. However, as you grow, you may discover some discomforts in certain parts of your body. These problems may impact your day-to-day activities and some of these problems are very difficult to heal. If you make it a habit to “be aware” of your posture from an early stage, you can relieve your body from the crippling consequences of bad posture.
The question now arises is – what exactly is “the right posture”? Firstly, a posture is the position in which we stand, sit or sleep against the gravitational force. According to a Cleveland Clinic article, a good posture requires training the body to stand, walk, lie or sit in positions that cause minimum strain on the muscles and ligaments in performing daily activities. Maintaining good posture health is important for the body in many ways:
- Our bones and joints need to be maintained in proper alignment with the body so that there is no damage to the muscles.
- We need to keep a proper posture that prevents the abnormal wear and tear of the joint surface, and decreases risks of arthritis in the later stages of life.
- A good posture is important to decrease the stress on the ligaments holding the spine and the joint together.
- Proper posture can prevent the wrong alignment of spine, thereby maintaining its integrity and function in the body.
- Being in a proper posture uses muscles more efficiently and less energy is required for any given process, preventing fatigue.
- Posture is also important to prevent strain, overuse, back and muscle aches.
- A good posture health promotes an overall appearance of the person.
While to some of you, these posture health benefits may seem trivial and inconsequential, it has been proven that bad posture can have some very serious effects over the years.
Dr. David Jockers from NaturalNews.com has highlighted some of the main hazards of incorrect posture as below:
- Arc of Life: The spine is the primary link between the brain stem and the nerves that reach every part of our body. Many people experience a loss in the natural curve of the spine which neurologists termed as the “arc of life”. An ideal angle of the spine is about 40-45 degrees. Subsequent to an abnormal curve in the spine, one can expect an alteration in signals received from the brain to different parts of the body. One of the most serious consequences of bad posture is losing the arc of life in the neck, the forward head posture and scoliosis.
- Subluxation: Another issue that often goes unnoticed is subluxation, a term used to describe the misalignment of the spine that causes irritation and stress to the nerves. It is manifested as only a minor pain in nerves and is often ignored until it gets really serious.
- Heath Conditions: According to Dr. Rene Cailliet of the University of Southern California, “Head in forward posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. This can pull the entire spine out of alignment. Forward head posture (FHP) may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity.” Decreased lung capacity is directly related to the diminished oxygenation of cells which leads to a variety of ailments. Heart diseases, asthma and malfunctioning of the blood vessels are some of the main problems that may occur due to bad posture.
- Muscle Problems: It has been indicated that almost 90% of the population in the United States have a two inches or more displacement of their head, which alters the alignment of the spine and the lumbar region. Dcberk.com states that “For every one inch the head moves forward of neutral (ear lined up with the center of shoulder), an additional 15-30 pounds of tension is placed on the supporting neck muscles.”
It is evident that good posture health is vital for everyone, and during the early stages, bad posture can easily be corrected.
What Can You Do To Improve Your Posture?
Here, are some steps that we can take in order to salvage the situation and restore posture health:
- Sitting: Use of an upright chair can help to create the correct alignment of the spine.
- Sleeping: It is discouraged to sleep on the stomach as it creates an unnecessary stress along the spine and the related muscles. It is advised to sleep on the back with a pillow tucked under the knee.
- Standing: To improve the standing posture; abdominal exercises can be very beneficial. Besides this, using the wall for support to correct the spine alignment can also be effective.
The spine is a vital and a very responsible part of our body. For this reason, we should respect it and give it the support it needs to perform its functions. The right posture not only prevents undesirable effects, but it promotes confidence and an air of positivity.
So, if you are still stooping at your desk reading this article, sit up straight now!