10 Reasons to Keep Good Posture

Did you know….

… that poor posture is a contributing factor of many conditions?!

Headaches, neck pain, back pain, rounded shoulders, spinal dysfunction, potbelly, joint degeneration, and the list goes on.

Check out 10 reasons why you should make the effort to keep good posture.

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1. Headaches
There are numerous causes of headaches, however poor posture is close to the top of the list. The typical posture adopted at the computer of having your upper back rounded and your neck protruding forward puts a lot of strain in the muscles running at the back of the neck. Prolonged tightness in these muscles can cause referral pain into the back of the head, behind the eyes or into the forehead, know as a headache.


2. Neck Pain / Back Pain / Shoulder pain
When we have good posture, our spine is in its natural alignment and there is no exaggeration of any of its natural curves. This is when our ligaments and muscles work best, and there is the least amount of stress placed on them. Improper posture over emphasizes one or more of the spinal curves placing extra stress on other major bones and muscles. This results in muscles having to continually work to counterbalance the altered position and hold the body up against gravity and can cause pain in the neck, back and shoulders.


3. Joint stress
Ligaments and connective tissue are structures that support our joints. The supportive structures surrounding a joint are proportional to the amount of load bearing activity of that joint. With improper posture, it increases the load bearing activity in joints, placing extra stress on the supporting structures. When joints bear stress beyond their normal duties, it causes degradation of the connective tissue causing pain, most commonly in the spine, shoulders and knees.


4. Limited range of movement
In long-term cases of poor posture, muscles can become shortened while others become overstretched. This limits your body’s normal range.


5. Poor Digestion
With poor posture, especially in a seated position, your digestive system (intestines) have nowhere to go and can become compressed. This can lead to sluggish digestion, resulting in discomfort, slowed metabolic conversion and constipation.


6. Decreased lung capacity
Compressing your body means reduced space in your chest cavity, restricting air intake by up to 30%. To compensate for this reduced lung efficiency, your heart has to work harder to pump blood, ultimately causing increased stress on your body and fatigue.


7. Fatigue
With poor posture, you waste a lot of energy because your muscles are working inefficiently by constantly working to hold you and fight gravity. Not to mention your sluggish digestion, shallow breathing and poor circulation – no wonder you feel tired all the time!


8.  Stress
A study from Harvard University found that people who adopted powerful postures (open shoulders and upright spine) had a decrease in cortisol (the stress hormone) by 25%, coupled with an increase in testosterone levels by 20%. That’s a pretty powerful thing to be aware of!


9. Mood
There are many studies linking the effects of poor posture and negative mood. In 2013, the Victoria University and the University of Queensland studied depressive symptoms on over 9,000 women aged 50-55years old over a 9 year period. It was found that those who sit for extended periods are more likely to experience depressive symptoms, with those sitting for more than 7 hours per day are at 47% higher risk of depression in comparison with those who sit for less than 4 hours.


And number 10 speaks for itself….


10. Nothing’s sexier than good posture!


With good posture, you look taller, leaner and more confident!


So now that you have read all of that, there’s no reason to slouch. Make the effort and try to stand or sit up with good posture. Start with small lengths of time, and build it up. The more you do it, the easier it becomes!


If you are in the Grange, Henley Beach or West Lakes area, and would like help with your posture, make an appointment with Phyx Physio + Pilates today!