Stand Up Straight! The Importance of Posture.
Throughout our youth, parents and grandparents have been telling us to sit up straight and don’t slouch, good posture is important! But why is posture important? Posture is more than just simply sitting up straight. Good posture is a gateway to better health and enables people to do things with more energy and less fatigue. A recent study, conducted by Professor of Health Education Erik Peper, PH.D at San Francisco State University has even linked bad or slouched posture with depression.
“When you choose to put your body in a different mode, it’s harder to drop into depression. What we’re saying is that if you start integrating more body movements into your daily life, your energy level stays higher and your quality of life is better” said Peper.
What is good posture? Good posture is defined as the alignment of one’s body parts. For example, if you were to look at your profile in a mirror, you should be able to draw a straight line from your head to your toes, as shown in the image below. Because good posture aligns your bones properly, your body can work as it was naturally intended to with less wear and tear on your joints.
Poor posture limits your motion and muscles can be permanently shortened or stretched when slumped over, giving you that hunchback look. Pain and discomfort are increased with poor posture, in fact, ask any chiropractor, doctor or health professional and they will tell you that that rounded shoulders and poor posture can trigger headaches, jaw pain, decreased lung capacity, digestive problems and of course can make you look years older.
In an interview between Jerome McAndrews DC., an internationally renowned chiropractor, and the American Chiropractic Association Andrews discusses the effects of poor posture he explains,
“ ‘Once established, poor posture creates a chain reaction throughout the body. The digestive and respiratory systems will be affected by poor posture. And in more serious cases, where poor posture has had major effects on the musculoskeletal system, there can be a resulting negative impact on the vascular system.On the flip side, maintaining good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and less fatigue. It is never too late to change our behaviors in an effort to improve our posture. ’ ”
So do yourself and your body a favor, stand up straight and walk tall!