The Importance of Having Good Posture

We frequently talk about good health and how important it is to keep it, but what does it mean? Good health is essential to manage stress, anxiety, and other problems. Despite health care costs, Americans have a lower life expectancy due to lifestyle choices and limited access to health care options. Improving health often means discussing dietary changes, reducing bad habits, getting more exercise, and proper rest. 


One important thing we don’t hear about enough is keeping good posture.


Posture affects you whether you’re highly active or spend lots of time sitting in an office or at home, and bad posture leads to many problems that worsen over time. We examine posture by looking at what it is, why it matters, and what you can do to improve your own.


If you live in the Dunedin or Largo, Florida area and have bad posture or other problems affecting your spine, Drs. Stephen Steller, Ryan Garcia, Justin Murray, and the dedicated medical team at Spinal Correction Centers can help.


What is posture?


Common things you hear from parents, teachers, or other people about posture include standing up or sitting up straight. It is better to think of it as the composite of the positions of the different joints of your body at any given time. Movement of any sort applies stress to your joints, but the type of posture you maintain helps to determine how healthy those joints remain. 


Dynamic and static are the two types of posture. As the names imply, dynamic posture deals with your posture as you move (walking, running, jumping), and static posture reflects your position when in specific fixed positions (standing, sitting, kneeling, lying).


Why does it matter?


Any movement affects the stress on your joints, and with good posture you’re putting the least stress on joints to move around. Posture is linked to most muscles, bones, and musculoskeletal tissue in some way. Staying in positions that put more pressure on them leads to various misalignments over time. 


Slumping your shoulders as you walk, bending forward or backward while standing or sitting, and other types of bad posture causes problems with strength, balance, range of motion, and pain and becomes chronic if you maintain these habits.


These bad habits can lead to many problems as you age, including increased spinal pressure, neck, shoulder, and back pain, joint problems, balance problems, and even breathing disorders.


What can you do to improve it?


Here are some key ways to improve your posture for better health:


Listen to your body


Adjust your position if it feels out of alignment. If a position causes tension or pain, move into a more comfortable one. Tuning into your body is an effective way of detecting pain so you can work to relieve it.


Actively focus on using good posture


Start changing how you move, and keep working to make these changes your new normal. We form habits over long periods of time.To correct and change bad habits, regularly keep your chin parallel to the floor, shoulders even, spine neutral, abdominal muscles braced, hips and knees even, and your body weight distributed evenly.


Exercises to improve posture


Stretching and exercising can help with parts of your body affected by bad posture, and some basic things you can do include poses like the child’s pose, forward fold, cat-cow, standing cat-cow, chest opener, high plank, side plank, and downward facing dog.


Correcting long-term issues with bad posture and how it affects your body is an active process that we can help with, so make an appointment with Drs. Steller, Garcia, and Murray at Spinal Correction Centers today to start on the road to better posture and good health.

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