posture healthPosture And Your Health

“Sit up straight, stop slouching”. Do we still hear our parents in our heads, reminding us to have better posture? Turns out, they were right after all. Some say that posture is a window into your health. While perhaps not that dramatic, your posture can certainly give a glimpse into what health problems you may be facing.

Turtle neck
All around us, we are surrounded by technology and a variety of electronic devices. From laptops to tablets to cell phones. Everywhere you look there is always at least one person who is looking down at their device. This is not to decry the evils of technology. However, it is our posture while using these devices that is often less than ideal. Looking down, sticking our heads too far forward and out, shoulders slumped forward – these are the positions that we often find ourselves in. It is because of this turtle neck posture, where your head and neck are too far out in front of your body as you look down at your devices, that you start to develop neck and shoulder problems and sometimes headaches as well.

Instead, the ideal position would be to keep your head centred over your shoulders. Much like doing a chin tuck while keeping your gaze straight ahead. If you were to look at yourself from the side, you would want to see the middle of your ears positioned directly above the midpoint of your shoulders.

Sitting is the new smoking
Yes, last time we checked, smoking is still bad for you. Not surprisingly too, poor posture is bad for you as well. Poor posture can result in the small muscles and joints in your neck, shoulders and back working harder and being strained more than they were designed to handle over time. Sitting puts more strain on your back and especially your lower discs than standing or walking. The position that puts the least amount of stress on your discs is laying flat on your back.

If you add any sort of constant vibration to the equation such as from driving a bus or truck for hours and hours, this will only magnify the stress and tension already building in your lower back. This is why those who spend long periods driving for work, such as parcel couriers and police officers, often have lower back problems.

While certainly not as exciting as say slipping on the sidewalk, poor posture can also lead to small repetitive strain injuries that accumulate over time. As a result, this repetitive strain can lead to a build up of tension in your joints, muscles and other soft tissues.

The best posture is your next posture
So really, what is the best posture to have? If you only remember one thing from this article, remember this – try to change your posture periodically. Even something as small as shifting your body weight or repositioning yourself every once in awhile can have an important role in helping you feel and be better over time