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How to Improve Posture and Experience its Health Benefits

Admini Si - Thursday, January 08, 2015

 

 

Today’s children and adults spend many hours in front of computers, ipads, and phones. Most of us sit at desks for work. Even though we may play sport to keep strong, this may not automatically improve our sitting. Knowing how to maintain good posture is vital to modern healthy living.

At Macquarie Street Physiotherapy, we have helped many clients overcome:

  • Back pain

  • Neck pain

  • Headaches

We showed them how to improve posture as they sit, stand or walk. Research shows that improving posture boosts health.

Bad Posture and Your Health

The effects of bad posture are gradual. They not only impact your muscles/joints/discs and cause pain. Here are 3 ways bad posture can affect other body systems. Conversely, improving posture may have the opposite effect:


1. Bad Posture Creates Greater Stress  

According to a 2010 study by the Association of Psychological Science, good posture has a lot to do with the level stress our body can cope with.

Power posing involves open shoulders and a straight spine, and causes a

  • 20% increase in testosterone

  • 25% decrease in cortisol levels

Low power poses, where people slouch or contract their shoulders, causes

  • Testosterone levels to fall by 10%

  • Cortisol to increase by 15%

  • Stress

  • Shallow breathing

  • Reduced lung capacity


2. Increased Risk of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease  

Researchers from Leicester and Loughborough universities in the UK cross-referenced data from 18 studies involving over 800,000 people. They concluded that sitting for long periods increased people developing:

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Cardiovascular disease

The study recommended people should learn how to improve posture, so they can counter the risk.


3. Increased Risk of Depression   

A 2012 study from San Francisco State University revealed that improving posture enhances mood and increases energy levels. In an experiment, students were asked to:

  • Walk for a period of time in a slouched position.

  • Skip as they moved with their heads high and back straight.

Slouchers experienced increased feelings of depression and lower energy.

Improving Posture

There are a number of ways in everyday life we can improve posture. They are:

  • Stand evenly on both feet, imagining a string was drawing you up tall from the top of your head.

  • Walk with straight back, head up and shoulders back, without being rigid

  • Sit gently tall, with a straight back, relaxed legs

  • Take standing breaks and do 30-second exercises:

  • Stretch your back, your arms and legs.

  • Roll your shoulder blades in circles.

  • Shrug your shoulders up and down

  • Raise your elbows high, then straighten and bend them.

  • Exercise at home or the gym, and work on your core muscles.

For more on how to improve posture, check out some simple instructions online. To get you started, we recommend:

9 Ways How To Improve Your Posture

 


Macquarie Street Physio