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Good Posture-what Effect Does This Have On Your Health?

Have you ever had your parents tell you "sit up straight" when you were a child? I know I had numerous times. Our parents were not telling us to do this just to keep us from looking like neanderthals. Excellent posture is essential for a number of health and wellness reasons too. Proper posture reduces th risk of neck and back pain, increases concentration, helps us to breathe properly, and increases our overall sense of well-being.

It is not surprising that most people have bad posture, considering the number of hours we spend sitting in front of a computer, straining to see the screen. A combination of bad ergonomics and too many hours spent sitting without getting up to stretch tired/stressed muscles has given us an epidemic of bad posture. Then we wonder how come we have the neck and back pain when we "didn't do anything" to cause it. As a doctor of chiropractic, I hear this quite often.

Nobel Prize winner for brain research Roger Sperry, PhD, stated "The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy is available for thinking, metabolism and healing." We breath more deeply due to proper posture allowing the airways to open and expand the rib cage. It is estimated that we loose as much as 30% of our lung capacity when we slouch. Better ability and a more powerful concentratation is achieved when our brain is receiving it full amount of oxygen. Your energy level will also be enhanced when the muscles and organs receive more oxygen.

Our spine and skeleton was designed to perform optimally when we are in the correct posture. The majority of weigh-bearing stress when we are sitting and moving is absorbed by the spinal column. However, when we have bad posture, the weight shifts to areas of the spinal column that were not designed to take a great amount of force. Our muscles, tnedons and ligaments are then required to work harder to keep us upright, putting excessive stress on less sturdy parts of our joints and bones.

Gradually With time, bad posture creates changes to the spinal column that could end up being irreversible, irritating and pinching nerves, and constricting blood vessels, resulting in chronic pain.

Research studies have revealed that individuals experiencing depression felt significantly better when their posture improved, and it additionally raises confidence and self esteem. Ohio State University researchers instructed their volunteers to either sit straight or to slouch.According to co-author of the study, Richard Perry, a professor of psychology at the university,of those who that sat up straight, "Their confident, upright posture gave them more confidence in their own thoughts, whether they were positive or negative,"

You should be able to draw a straight line down from the earlobe through the shoulder, hip, knee and mid-ankle if you have proper posture. The majority of people's heads are forward at least an inch or two from the center of gravity due to leaning over laptops and handheld devices like tablets and mobile phones. When the head juts only an inch forward from the spinal column it basically doubles the amount of head weight the supporting muscle and joint system must absorb.

It is essential that you choose an office chair that is ergonomically designed, with extra suppport for the low-back to help maintain your posture throughout the day. A station that allows you to adjust from sitting to standing would allow you to change positions throughout the day. In addition, it is important to strengthen your core muscles to promote good posture. If you have weak core muscles, you will have a weak and vulnerable back. Pilates and Yoga are generally good forms of exercise for overall stretching and strengthening. Chiropractic therapy can also help correct abnormal stresses on the skeletal structure resulting from a lifetime of physical, chemical and emotional stress.

For more information, please call Barger Chiropractic of Folsom, located at 231 Blue Ravine Rd, #200, Folsom, CA, 916-984-9999 or Visit our website at


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