Do you remember your mother telling you to sit up straight when you were young? Turns out she was giving you good advice. Good posture gives you more energy and makes you healthier. It helps you look better and prevents pain.
What is posture?
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts while poor posture results from certain muscles tightening up or becoming weak as a result of one’s daily activities. Without posture and the muscles that control it, we would simply fall to the ground.
Why is good posture important?
Benefits of good posture affect everyone, not just the chiropractic patients of Coquitlam’s Westwood Total Health. Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities.
- Helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain
- Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury
- Allows muscles to work more efficiently, causing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue
- Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain
Consequences of poor posture
Let’s face it. You probably own a cell phone, tablet and/or a laptop. How many hours per day do you spend sitting or standing using these devices with your head tilted forward? This constant state of having your head tilted forward causes postural alterations, often leading to faulty movement patterns, which increases the stress placed on the neck, shoulders, as well as head.
Other ways poor posture can affect you:
- Deepens depression – In a recent study from San Francisco State University, students were told to either walk down a hall in a slouched position or to skip. The slouchers reported increased feelings of depression and lower energy than skippers.
- Causes career problems – If you’re seen around the office slouching and bent over, not only can it hurt your attitude but it affects how your coworkers perceive you
- Backs you up – When you’re sitting in a scrunched up position, your intestines are scrunched up, too, slowing everything down
- Increases risk of death and disease – A recent Australian study found that after the age of 25, every single hour of television—i.e., slouching on the couch—reduced the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. Plus, when English researchers cross-referenced sitting time with health outcomes in a different study, they found those people who sat the most more than doubled their risk of developing diabetes and had a 147% increase in their risk for cardiovascular disease, even if they exercised.
- Makes you look heavier – When you are slouched over, your internal organs have nowhere to go but down and out—you immediately look fatter
- Cuts off your circulation – Prolonged sitting, especially with your legs crossed, can cut off the flow, increase pressure and even cause spider veins
- Stresses you out – A recent study from Harvard showed that when people who adopted powerful postures (open shoulders and straight spines) had a 20% increase in testosterone levels and a 25% decrease in cortisol levels—but people who slouched had a 10% decrease in testosterone and a 15% increase in cortisol. That translates into low self-confidence and high stress.
Can I correct my posture?
At Westwood Total Health, the chiropractors’ focus is on postural correction. To accomplish that we first need to see the status of your posture. We perform a detailed exam, including posture assessment, spinal examination, computerized nerve scans and digital spinal x-rays (if necessary). Our chiropractors can then compare these findings to what is standard normal.
We have found educating our patients is very important for results, and the doctors will take the time to teach you how to understand your scans and test and to recognize good and bad posture in detail. You can then compare these results to your findings, scans and/or x-rays.
With postural corrective care, we utilize a series of protocols including posture corrective adjustments, and corrective postural exercise programs.
As patients go through the posture correction program, updated exams and tests can be used to compare with their original examination and test findings. This way, patients can appreciate their postural changes, such as improvement with forward head carriage.
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Westwood Total Health is a busy, award-winning chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage therapy clinic and has been providing health and wellness care to families in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody since 2006. Through our quality care and patient education, we have become one of the busiest clinics in the province. Since 2013, we have consistently been voted favourite natural health clinic by readers of the Tri-City News.
The goal at Westwood Total Health is to improve spinal and body alignment and function, which promotes overall health. At Westwood Total Health our mission is to make the Tri-Cities the healthiest community in the country. Won’t you join us?