The relationship between posture and health is not surprising since posture is the physical end result of how your body deals with the millions of inputs to your brain from your environment. The brain receives inputs from the nervous system every single second. Our posture is how we have adapted to these inputs of the life we are living.
Posture is more than just standing upright and telling someone to stand straight with their shoulders back. Improving posture means strengthening how the body balances and how it moves.
Many people with back problems say they have poor posture. They are usually right. Mechanically related back problems are a large and growing health concern for modern society.
To read a report titled ‘The Manga Report, A study to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic management of Low Back Pain’ 1993 Kenilworth Publishing, Pran Manga et al press HERE.
Posture is dynamic and it is a trade off between flexibility and stability. Postural balance is the ability to control your body’s position in space and keep your body upright and stable especially when challenged. Poorly balanced posture requires more energy to stay upright, causing some areas increased stress and further wear and tear.
Different motions cause different muscles to strengthen and others to weaken with neglect. Our body changes with our habits. Squatting is a great example, as children we can squat comfortably with our heels on the ground and whilst some of us can still do it as an adult the majority of us become deconditioned. This is typically due to prolonged sitting. Those of us that cannot squat without lifting our heels is a sure sign of adaptively tight leg muscles. Our habits are what we do every day. It is not surprising that the more we sit the tighter we get and studies are now showing that 50% of all computer workers are suffering pain. (US Dept of Labour 1991)
Everyone has probably heard as you age you get shorter?
According to a 20yr study there is a strong correlation between losing height and mortality. Researchers at the university of London divided 4,200 men aged 40-59 into 4 groups depending of how much height they had lost over the 20 years. Men who had lost over 3 cm of height had 1.45 times the risk of dying than those losing less than 1cm. The author speculated that the physical restrictions of the lungs and abdominal organs caused significantly greater risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and respiratory mortality. In other words; stand taller, live longer.
To read a paper titled ‘Height loss in older men – associations with total mortality and incidence of cardiovascular disease’ by S. Goya Wannamethee PhD; A. Gerald Shaper, FRCP; Lucy Lennon, MSc; Peter H. Whincup, FRCP, PhD, press HERE.
Improving posture means strengthening how you balance and reduce the mechanical load upon the body.
Chiropractic is helpful at reducing the mechanical load placed on the body and improving alignment. Strong posture comes from our core muscles. These are the inner most muscles that connect and stabilise the torso over the pelvis.
Speak to your chiropractor today about how you can strengthen your posture to stand taller and live longer.