All of us probably remember what it was like when we were kids: You’re with your parents or standing in line during the school day. Suddenly, an authority figure comes up to you and says the magic words: “Stand up straight! Stop slouching! If you stand around like that, you’ll get stuck in that position forever!”
Yeah, that might have been a little bit of an exaggeration. But, it turns out that the people who told you to watch your posture actually knew what they were doing. Bad posture can hurt your muscles, cause you a wide degree of pain and be responsible for countless physical problems during your life. By contrast, good posture can help maintain your physical form and ensure flexibility and muscle strength. This becomes even more important as you age.
To that end, here’s a look at some of the great benefits of practicing proper posture.
Decreases the stress on your ligaments
Your ligaments are the connective tissue, which holds bones or cartridge to a joint. It’s tough, stretchy tissue, but with misuse, they can become over-stretched or torn. Bad posture is one example of such misuse, and it can be particularly problematic. Over time and repeated inappropriate use, bad posture can over-stretch ligaments, making them lose their flexibility and causing you pain.
Decrease abnormal joint wear & tear
The joints in your body are like machine joints in many ways. They are meant to move a certain way, and moving them outside of the manner in which they were designed can significantly damage them over time. This is another reason why it is so important to maintain proper posture: Holding your body in the wrong position can damage your joints, and repeated movements can cause you significant discomfort and pain. Over the long run, they can lead to a decreased quality of life.
Enhance energy levels
One of the lesser understood benefits of proper posture is that it can greatly increase your energy levels. Why? Well, your body is like a machine, meant to operate a certain way in order to enhance efficiency. Moving with poor posture causes you to use more energy, and thus leads to more fatigue. The good news is that the reverse is true: Maintaining proper posture can increase your energy levels because it ensures that you are using your muscles, ligaments, and joints in the way that they were designed.
Maintain spine health
Your spine is the nerve highway of your body. Every muscle movement which you take ultimately comes back to your spine. That’s why it’s health is so critical to the rest of your body, and why bad posture can be so problematic for your spine: A lack of proper posture will twist and bend your spine in many ways, and this can ultimately have many negative impacts on your body.
Back problems are one of the most common problems caused by poor posture. Ultimately, if you maintain poor posture, you may need chiropractic treatment for physical rehabilitation. Indeed, the experts and professionals at Align Integrated Medical see this on a regular basis. Unfortunately, failure to maintain appropriate posture is highly likely to result in the need for these types of services in order to restore the full health and function of your spine.
Keep in mind that poor posture may damage your spine, but the reverse is true as well: A spine, which has suffered from years of abuse is more likely to lead to poor posture. Thus, your spinal health can spiral downwards. That’s why it’s best to address these problems as soon as possible.
Reduce pain in your lower back
Lower back pain is absolutely one of the most common problems that adults suffer from, with tens of millions of Americans enduring such pain every year. Fortunately for them, in many cases, there is a relatively easy fix: Posture improvement.
Bad posture leads to pain in your lower back because some of the more common examples of poor posture (such as slouching or leaning forward or backward when standing) put unnecessary tension on your lower back. This can cause stress on your spine, discs, ligaments, muscles and more.
Increased lung capacity
Slouching, bending or twisting does more than hurt your spine: It decreases your lung capacity. This is for obvious reasons: If your posture is poor, you are almost certainly compressing your organs inappropriately. As such, maintenance of proper posture allows your lungs to properly inflate, ensuring that your lung capacity is at its maximum.
Your circulation system is absolutely critical to your overall health, as it is responsible for bringing vital nutrients (like oxygen) to the various parts of your body. It also helps your body dispose of waste and other toxins. Poor posture compresses more than your lung capacity: It can also make it harder for your blood to flow. In the long run, this leads to poorly functioning muscles and organs. However, adjusting your posture can fix this problem by ensuring that your circulation system is running at peak efficiency.
Keep away headaches
Headache prevention is one of the far-reaching effects which proper posture can have. Indeed, tension headaches often result directly from poor posture. This is because poor posture can radiate upwards. As a result, your neck muscles are held at inappropriate angles – and this can cause headaches.
Professional adjustments, regular exercise, neck stretches and constant vigilance about your posture can help to alleviate these problems.
Increase physical fitness and decreased injury
Your posture determines more than how you sit and stand: It ultimately impacts every aspect of your physical functioning. As such, improved posture can help you exercise better and exhibit better technique when you exercise. As any fitness trainer will tell you, a huge part of the success of exercise and other physical fitness regimes is ultimately determined by your form.
To this end, it’s important to keep in mind that the benefits of good posture carry over to how you exercise. Proper posture helps you maintain good physical fitness. It also decreases your risk of injury by ensuring that when you work out, you keep your body in the proper form.
As you can no doubt see, the importance of proper posture of your entire body cannot be understated. The impacts of having bad posture can ripple out across your entire body and make massive, negative impacts on your quality of life. By contrast, proper posture, exercise, and access to high-quality medical professionals can help you in more ways than you likely realized.