Several factors contribute to poor posture–most commonly stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes. In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor body positioning.
Poor posture can lead to excessive strain on muscles and may even cause them to relax, when held in certain positions for long periods of time. This can happen when you place your body in one position for long periods of time – typically seen in people who bend forward at the waist or lean into the computer in the workplace. This poor posture creates an atmosphere prone to injury and back 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 supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. Without posture and the muscles that control it, we would simply fall to the ground.
Most people don’t think about their posture – their muscles do it for them. Several muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are critically important in maintaining good posture. While the ligaments help to hold the skeleton together, these postural muscles, when functioning properly, prevent the forces of gravity from pushing us over forward. Postural muscles also maintain our posture and balance during movement.
Why Posture Is Important
Everyone wants to look their best, and obviously good posture is a viable starting point toward that goal. However, consider the many less-obvious health benefits that posture brings!
Good posture can:
- Maintain correct alignment of bones and joints
- Reduce stress on ligaments, minimizing risk of injury
- Prevent muscle strain, overuse and pain
- Conserve energy as muscles are used more efficiently
- Decrease abnormal joint wear
Research has shown that poor posture may:
- Increase feelings of depression
- Affect your digestive tract
- Influence confidence
- Add to stress levels
How to Maintain or Correct Posture
Be aware of your posture! Consider how you sit, stand or lie down.
- When sitting, keep both feet on the floor or a footrest, don’t cross your legs and use low-back support.
- While standing, keep your knees slightly bent, relax your arms and pull your shoulders back.
- When lying down it’s critical to choose the right mattress and pillow, and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Importance of Chiropractic Care and Therapies
Your chiropractor can help you to maintain and correct your posture through chiropractic adjustments, exercises and recommendations on proper positions during different activities. If you don’t have a chiropractor, contact Discover Health and Wellness DTC. We’ll help you get straightened out!