By: Dr. Ryan Lee
Did your mother tell you to stand up straight? Turns out- Mom is always right. Good posture has many health benefits. In fact, sitting and standing with proper alignment can improve blood flow, help keep your nerves and blood vessels healthy, and supports your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Not to mention, people who make a habit of using correct posture are less likely to experience related back and neck pain.
The Importance of Posture
Good posture not only improves your appearance, but also helps prevent back pain. Keep in mind that many common causes of back pain (such as poor posture) are avoidable, so it’s important to know how good posture can help. By standing tall with shoulders down and relaxed and your chest open, you can help prevent things like slouching, stiffening up from being in a seated position for too long or lifting heavy objects improperly. Simply put: good posture makes it easier for your body to do what you want it to do.
Improving Your Posture
While you might think good posture is a matter of standing up straight, it’s more than that. Bad posture can contribute to everything from back pain to headaches to neck pain, even if you don’t experience symptoms in your daily life. Research shows that correct posture can reduce stress on your back muscles, keep joints where they should be, improve blood flow to and from your brain, and help promote better sleep—something all of us could use a little more of! If you have an adjustable desk at work or an ergonomic chair at home—or any furniture with adjustable height settings—it can help encourage better posture. As you adjust for different positions throughout your day (say sitting in meetings vs.
The Right Adjustments
As you’ve learned, good posture is an important part of overall wellness. Did you know that your chiropractor can help you to improve poor posture? Good posture refers to your body’s alignment in space as it pertains to gravity. It means that your head, neck, shoulders, hips and knees are stacked over one another in a straight line with equal weight distribution on both sides of your body. If one side of your body has more weight than another or if there are pressure points along any area of your spine, then you likely have bad posture.
This is where Chiropractors can help with your alignment. Chiropractic treatment can help a person improve and maintain proper posture. Adjustments can help with your muscles and joints so that they function properly again and support proper spinal alignment. Chiropractors can easily identify the postural imbalance of the body. For instance, sometimes, one shoulder is higher than another or the person has a hunchback/stooped shoulders. Improper body posture can seriously affect the spine and body.
Tips for Good Posture
Looking for ways to improve your posture? Try these tips to help with your alignment when you’re not at your chiropractor’s office.
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders back.
- Keep your head level and in line with your body.
- Pull in your abdomen.
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Don’t lock your knees.
- Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
- Let your hands hang naturally at your sides.
- Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest.
- Keep your knees at or below the level of your hips.
- Don’t cross your legs.
- Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
- Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- Adjust your chair to support your back or place a rolled towel or small pillow behind your lower back.
- Make sure the top of your monitor is at or slightly below eye level.
- Keep your head and neck balanced and in line with your torso.
- Relax your shoulders. Keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
A great way to check your own posture is to stand in front of a mirror. Check to see if your shoulders are level, head is straight and the spaces between your arms and sides seem equal. Also look to see if your hips are level, your kneecaps face straight ahead and if your ankles are straight.
We’re Here to Help
Need help with your posture? At Reach Health and Wellness, we’re happy to work with you on your alignment so you can reap all of the benefits of having good posture. Schedule your appointment today.
Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.