Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good Posture... Just How Important Is It To Your Health?

Everyone knows that eating right, exercising, getting a good night's sleep and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs and tobacco are at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. Did you know that maintaining good posture ranks just as high on that list? Good posture allows you to do things with more energy, less stress and less fatigue.

Surprised? Well, you're not alone. The benefits of good posture may be one of the “best kept” health secrets. The good news is that most everyone can avoid the problems caused by bad posture and you can make postural improvements at any age.

Good Posture is Good Health

We're a health conscious society today and good posture is a part of it. Because good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. It means your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Good posture helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system.

Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems (such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments), a person who has poor posture may often be tired or unable to work efficiently or move properly.

Even for younger people, how you carry yourself when working, relaxing or playing can have big effects. Did you know that just 15 minutes reading or typing when in the wrong position can exhaust the muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back?

Poor Posture - How Does it Happen?

In most cases, poor posture results from a combination of several factors, which can include:

1. Accidents, injuries and falls
2. Poor sleep support (mattress)
3. Excessive weight
4. Visual or emotional difficulties
5. Foot problems or improper shoes
6. Weak muscles, muscle imbalance
7. Careless sitting, standing, sleeping habits
8. Negative self image
9. Occupational stress
10. Poorly designed work space

As you can see, poor posture can develop as a result of accidents or falls. However, most often it is the result of environmental factors or bad habits. This means that you have control.

Poor Posture & Pain

A lifetime of poor posture can start a progression of symptoms in the average adult. It can start with...
Fatigue – then tight, achy muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs - by this time, there may be a change in your muscles and ligaments and you may have a stiff, tight painful feeling. Many neck and back problems are the result of tight, achy muscles brought on by years of bad posture. Poor posture and limited mobility increase the likelihood of this condition in later years. Chiropractic can help you minimize those effects by removing spinal subluxations which contribute to bad posture and often first cause it to occur.

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