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How Poor Posture and Over-Sitting Can Affect Health

Remember when you were little and your mom used to say “sit up straight!” You might have found it annoying then, but haven’t you heard the saying “mom knows best?” It’s true! Whether your mom said this to you or not, it’s more important than ever in your adult life that you understand the importance of good posture. Not sitting up straight can harm your health and be a contributor to back pain, ultimately causing you to be in a bad mood and have an overall poor quality of life.

Posture and Your Muscles

Poor posture shifts the body weight unevenly to some muscles, making them chronically tight and sore, while others get weak from under-use. Imbalanced muscles create an uneven pull on the bones of the spine, shoulders, and hips, causing misalignment and spinal nerve stress.

The nerve stress on your spine leads to even tighter muscles, causing problems like fibromyalgia, headaches, shoulder pain, and upper back pain. It’s easy to see how not fixing a simple problem like correcting your posture could lead to all sorts of aches and pains.

In addition, did you know:

  • Each time you lean forward 60 degrees, the stress placed on your neck increases dramatically? This can lead to numbness, pain, pinched nerves, and improper breathing.
  • Posture shows body language. If you are slouching, you can appear sad, afraid, or disinterested to those around you. Maintaining a good posture has been proven in studies to help raise self-esteem and mood.

Checking Your Posture

First, take a look at how you are sitting right now. Checking off the following can be a great way to improve your posture.

  • Are your feet flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle?
  • Are your buttocks, back, and shoulders up against the backrest of your chair?
  • Does the chair you’re sitting in provide enough lumbar support? (Does the backrest fit into the natural curve of your spine?)
  • Are your shoulders relaxed and even (not hunched in a forward position?)
  • Are your knees level with or slightly higher than your hips?

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may be putting stress on your spine; which can eventually cause back pain.

Additional Posture Tips

Many working folks have no choice but to sit all day, but taking simple steps to minimize the impact of sitting for too long can make a huge difference.

Some suggestions:

  • Take interval breaks throughout the day
  • Change your position as often as you sensibly can
  • Get up and walk every 45 minutes
  • Stretch your spine throughout the day

Schedule a Visit With Your Chiropractor

Improving your posture is a great first step to relieving any stress and pain you are currently experiencing; however, that alone can’t undo the alignment problems that developed gradually over years of poor posture.

Chiropractic care can help decrease the pain you’re in dramatically. Chiropractors are also experts who can provide advice and tips on ways to improve your posture and fix alignment naturally. Contact Reinhardt Chiropractic to schedule an appointment today.