How Posture determines health:
Most of us know on some level that posture and your health are directly linked. But do you know posture can actually influence your health and mental/energetic state? Would you be surprised to know that excellent posture has been shown to increase future success in business and increased income? Posture also affects your day-to-day energy levels, how you age and your overall health. Over the course of your life, you have probably heard some of these postural reminders.
- “Raise your chin up and quit slouching!”
- “Sit up straight in your chair!”
- A drill sergeant commands, “Hold your shoulders back and chest out!”
- A dance instructor reminds, “Find your center!”
Most adults no longer have someone to lovingly hand out daily reminders. How does following – or not following – the instructions we grew up with early in life affect us in the coming years?
Posture determines health:
Posture can affect how you age as well as your independence.
Posture and Disability:
According to a Japanese study just published in Journals of Gerontology Series A the shape of a person’s spinal column has shown to be an indicator of their need for home assistance later in life. If you knew you could do something now that would change your life down the road, would you do it? No one wants to require help with bathing, feeding, dressing, going to the bathroom and other simple activities of daily living later in life any sooner than possible. I know I don’t.
Posture determines health: Check your own posture.
Here is how to check your own posture: Have someone take a photo of you from the side while you are at the computer or standing. You may be very surprised to see how far off you are even though you think you are straight! Try it. I promise, it’s fun. Your ear should be centered over the middle of your shoulder. If you are standing, your hip and ankle should be in alignment with the ear and shoulder.
Bring your photo into the office and we can evaluate it further for you and see how we might be able to help. I have been working with posture for a really long time. Most people want good posture, but few are willing to actually do anything about it.
Harvard Business School recently distributed an article entitled, “The Power of Posture” stating that your stance and posture signals to the world how energetic, confident, and powerful you are. This is nothing new. Artists have know this for centuries. Slumped shoulders, a slow pace, and a sagging belly are taken by the world to mean that you lack confidence. It shows that you don’t have much energy. It shows that you are probably less important, successful, and powerful as a result. These impressions may be neither accurate nor fair, but they are the inevitable results of the fleeting impressions. Prior to your next meeting, take a couple of minutes to “power pose” by standing with your feet apart, hands on your hips, lift your chest. Take some deep breaths and visualize a successful outcome to the meeting.( or your life)
Posture, Depression and Energy:
In the journal Biofeedback, a study found that simply choosing to alter body posture to a more erect and confident posture can improve mood and energy levels. The subjects walked down a hallway in a slouched position and then skipped down the hallway.
The whole group reported slouched walking decreased energy levels while skipping increased energy. The participants were also asked to rate their general depression levels. Those generally more depressed noted far lower energy levels after slouched walking than those who were generally not experiencing depression.
Rather than slouching, consciously bringing yourself upright can relieve dis-ease, low mood, and increase energy throughout the day. Try the 50/10 rule if you sit a lot at work. For every 50 minutes you sit, get up and move around for 10 minutes. Walk the halls with a colleague while discussing a project, take the stairs outside for a quick breath of fresh air or stand up and stretch while completing your calls at your desk.
Evidence is clear: Make posture and your health a priority. It’s not just “old age”
We do have a choice. How we carry our physical body is our choice and daily chore. Taking care of our spines and nervous system through good clean living, getting adjusted and minimizing physical and emotional stress will help us to age more gracefully.
The evidence is clear: If you want to live an active, healthy, long life, your ideal long term lifestyle, you’ve got to have a healthy spine and nervous system. Place your success, energy and independence at the top of your list by making your posture a high priority. Getting adjusted takes pressure off your joints and your nerve system. This is critical for good health. Most of us only want to live as long as we are healthy and functioning. Being crippled with bad joints, collapsed vertebrae, ruptured discs and bone spurs is no one’s idea of a good time.
The next time you see a friend or family member pressing their chin down on their chest to look at a cell phone, remember this chokes the life out of you.