The Importance of Proper Posture

The Importance of Proper Posture

First impressions are important, and good posture can greatly improve the way people view us. Like a great handshake, posture is a wonderful tool in the presentation of ourselves to others. The interesting thing about posture is it can also change the way we view ourselves. Posturing is linked to the chemical production in our brains, and using it properly can reduce stress, improve self image, and lower the risk of back problems specifically linked to under used back and abdominal muscles later in life.

The effects of short time and long term slouching range from slight discomfort to serious damage. It may just affect the way that a person looks, causing them to appear lazy, or bored. Although it may seem harmless when poor posture begins, it can result in something much more serious, and many people fail to take that into account when they are creating their habits of body mechanics. Stress to the body caused by improper control of the back and abdominal muscles can result in spinal weakening conditions, and worse case scenario, spinal injuries. Not just our spines are impacted by our posture. Our circulation is greatly effected by our posture, as well as our bowel health, and our chemical balance in our brains. There is an increase of testosterone by 20% and a decrease in cortisol levels by 25% in a person using proper posture, with a straight spine and open shoulders. This means that the person using proper posture is more likely to have a higher self esteem and better self image. Proper circulation can also be achieved by using good posture. It makes it much easier to breathe, which in turn will help promote adequate oxygen flow, reducing stress to the heart and lungs. Being able to breathe better will reduce stress overall for the entire body. Proper posture can promote proper blood flow to the bowels so that they can digest food more efficiently reducing constipation, and improving over-all body health in the process.

Lack of exercise, and being stooped over our desks whether in school or at work are a few of the larger culprits. Now a days although many people are refocusing on eating healthy and taking better care of their bodies, we still have a national overall average of more than 2/3 of the adult population considered obese. Being overweight can be another cause of poor posture because of all of the extra weight that we are carrying on our bodies, we are more likely to stoop as we sit or stand. It can also make it more difficult to exercise because of the joint discomfort. This can create a vicious cycle which makes it much more difficult to lose the weight to improve posture. Another much more serious culprit causing poor posture is Scoliosis. Scoliosis is a health condition which has slouching as one of the main symptoms, and results in the spine actually forming into an S shape.

It is important to speak to your doctor about your posture habits, and having an open dialogue with your child’s doctor about their posture habits is imperative. Starting young with proper posture can set a child up for success by giving them the tools to promote better overall body health and self image. Be sure to have your child’s back evaluated by our caring staff to prevent any serious damage or future long term effects of poor posture. Give us a call today at Whitefish Family Doctor Medical Clinic and we will set you up with an appointment that works for you.


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