Better Posture for Better Health: Tips from the Pros
While most people equate posture with outward appearance, many people are unaware of the effect that better posture has on internal health. Poor posture creates unnatural stress in our joints, making us more prone to joint disease and injuries. Muscle fatigue, neck spasms, shoulder pain and back pain are usually traceable to incorrect posture. Poor posture restricts the proper flow of blood to your head, creating tension headaches and mental dullness. Studies indicate that poor posture can contribute to acid reflux disease, high blood pressure and depression. There is no doubt that good posture will improve your health. Below are some tips to help you find and maintain good posture.
Better Posture While Standing
Poor posture causes some muscles to tighten up and shorten while other muscles lengthen and become flaccid. This imbalance frequently results in pain and lethargy. To find your best standing posture, stand against a wall with your buttocks, shoulder blades and head touching the wall. Have your heels approximately 4 inches away from the wall. With your palm facing the wall, place your hand behind the curve in your lower back. You should feel about one hand’s thickness between your back and the wall. If there is more space than this, tighten your belly muscles to straighten the curve in your back. If the space is too tight, arch your back until your hand fits comfortably. Walk away from the wall as you maintain this posture.
Better Posture While Sitting
Hunching over a desk all day diminishes breathing capacity and compresses internal organs, reducing their normal function. A well-designed working space can do wonders for your desk posture. Choose a chair that allows you to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in a vertical line. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle to your work-space while both feet rest flat on the floor. Be sure to get up from your desk and walk around as much as you can, and incorporate regular stretching routines into your breaks.
Better Posture While Sleeping
Improper sleep posture contributes to pain in the neck, shoulders and back. Back sleeping is the best position overall because it maintains neutral positioning of the head, neck and spine. One soft, fluffy pillow is all you need to properly support your neck and head without causing your head to jut out. The next best position is side sleeping, which keeps your spine elongated. Side sleepers need a firm, thick pillow so the head and neck are supported in a neutral position above the shoulder. Having extra pillows in bed to support the knees is also good for aching backs.
Chiropractic is an interpersonal approach to healing that is concerned with diagnosing, treating, and preventing imbalances of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects these imbalances have on your overall health. Bad posture can be a tough habit to break, but it can be done with dedication and a willingness to make positive lifestyle changes. Professionals like Advanced Integrative Health Center can work with you as an individual to help you achieve a better posture and better health.
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