Statistics show that over 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, many as a result of poor posture. You probably remember being told to “sit up straight” as a kid in school, but what about now, as an adult? Many of us work in offices where we sit behind a desk all day, which makes it easy to fall into the habit of slouching. Bad posture is a common cause of back pain and can make sitting, standing, and other movements very painful. Good posture is defined as the “position (that) creates the least amount of strain on supporting muscles and ligaments when you move or perform weight-bearing activity,” and holds many added health benefits:
- Facilitates proper breathing. Good posture helps to open the airways, which allows more oxygen to flow through the cardiopulmonary system. From here, the blood is able to carry more oxygen throughout the body, ensuring that other body systems function properly.
- Reduced neck and back pain. Slouching puts a strain on the muscles and ligaments that support the body, which causes you to feel pain in the neck and back areas. Having good posture alleviates this strain and will reduce or even eliminate back and neck pain.
- Look and feel better. Good posture makes the body appear taller, slimmer, and more confident. In fact, research proves that good posture makes one feel more confident too. A study done at Ohio State University found that people sitting upright felt more confident in their thoughts, while people who were slouched over felt unsure of themselves.
- Lose weight and strengthen your core. Sitting or standing upright all day can actually burn up to 350 calories. Additionally, good posture allows core muscles to work better and more efficiently.
- Increases concentration and improve brain function. When you slouch, your body takes in up to 30% less oxygen than it would if you were sitting upright. This deficit of oxygen makes you feel tired and makes it difficult to concentrate.
- Improves mood. Because your body receives more oxygen when in an upright position, you’re likely to feel more energized. High energy levels are linked to positive thoughts and a better mood.
- Prevents future health issues. Having good posture helps decrease the amount of abnormal wearing on joint surfaces and prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions. These reduce a person’s risk of back and neck injury/conditions.
When it comes down to it, improving your posture means improving the quality of your life. If you work in an office, consider a standing desk as an option to keep you from slouching in a chair, or force yourself into the correct position until it becomes natural for you. Regular chiropractic adjustments have been proven to naturally improve the body’s posture and relieve you from nagging neck and back pain. For an appointment, call Fletcher Chiropractic today!