6 Ways to Scientifically Improve Posture and Your Life

Believe it our not, poor posture can negatively affect mental and physical well-being.
It can lead to nerve damage, lower and upper back pain, weak bones and joints, overstretched or contracted muscles, reduced confidence, depression, and many more.
People have become more sedentary as technology has advanced. Technological innovations such as cellphone, TV, and computer have made modern life easier and more convenient, these inventions have also had adversely wreaked havoc on human health.
According to Stats Canada, the majority of the risk factors to mortality in Canada can be drastically reduced by lifestyle changes.
A survey done by an American company, found the average North American sits approximately 13 hours each day. Clearly sitting for prolonged periods of time have to be the culprit of poor posture! It is known that lack of core strength and forward head posture will eventually lead to irreversible postural effects. One common effect of irreversible posture is damaging the heart and surrounding tissues such as the lungs.

 

The research is clear: By making simple lifestyle changes you can improve your posture and overall health.

 

  • Lean slightly back when sitting
    A certain amount of sitting is unavoidable. So when you do have to spend time sitting at your desk or while driving your car, you want to make sure you have the best posture possible. There’s a right way and a wrong way to sit. A study in 2006 by researchers at the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Alberta found the best position for sitting is leaning back at a 135 degree angle.You do not necessarily need to lean back at a complete 135-degree angle. That could be difficult if you are trying to concentrate and get work done. However, don’t hesitate to lean slightly back while sitting in order to create an open angle between your base and upper body. It’s better for your spine and posture.

 

  • Avoid sitting for long periods
    Unfortunately, many professions and lifestyles require individuals sit often. The good news is low-intensity activities such as standing and walking can help combat the negative effects of extended sitting. One research study by the European Heart Journal found that replacing daily sitting time with 2 hours of standing or walking significantly improves cardio-metabolic health.

 

  • Maintain a straight back
    80 percent of individuals experience back pain at some point in their lives.  a leading acupuncturist and author of the book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, studied indigenous cultures around the world that have lower rates of back pain. She found the spine of individuals in these indigenous populations looked much different from American spines. Most individuals living in the industrialized world have a S-shaped spine shape that curves at the top and the bottom. In comparison, the individuals in the indigenous communities displayed J-shaped spines.

 

  • Treat yourself to a massage
    Massage is more than just a relaxing treat; it’s also good for your health. Whether you currently suffer from poor posture or if you’re looking to maintain your healthy posture, you should consider massage therapy. Research from CMAJ has proven that Massage has a significant positive impact on back pain the results of this test are outlined here but feel free to brose the link for more information .Results: Of the 107 subjects who passed screening, 98 completed post-treatment tests and 91 completed follow-up tests. Statistically significant differences were noted after treatment and at follow-up. The comprehensive massage therapy group had improved function , less intense pain and a decrease in the quality of pain compared with the other 3 groups. Clinical significance was evident for the comprehensive massage therapy group and the soft-tissue manipulation group on the measure of function. At 1-month follow-up 63% of subjects in the comprehensive massage therapy group reported no pain as compared with 27% of the soft-tissue manipulation group, 14% of the remedial exercise group and 0% of the sham laser therapy group.

 

  • Spend less time on your smartphone
    It turns out smartphones may not only be addicting, but also bad for your posture. A study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found prolonged usage of cell phone leads to forward head posture (FHP) and impaired respiratory function. Researchers measured the craniovertebral angle, a common metric used to assess head posture, of two groups: individuals who used smartphones less than 4 hours per day and those who used their phone for more than 4 hours each day. Subjects who spent more time on their smartphones tended to have poorer FHP and rounded shoulders. Forward head posture predisposes individuals to pain in the neck, back, and shoulders.

 

  • Exercise and stretch consistently
    Numerous research studies suggest that exercise and stretching can help improve posture. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics examined the impact resistance and stretching training has on forward head posture and protracted shoulder posture on adolescents between the ages of 15 and 17. Researches divided participants into two groups: a control group and an exercise group. The control group participated in regular physical education (PE) courses, while the exercise group received posture corrective program twice per week for four months in addition to PE classes. The program consisted of three stretching exercises and four strengthening exercises. The exercise group displayed significantly greater increases in cervical and shoulder angles at the end the study. By comparison, the control group did not show any difference.

 

We recommend these simple tips to improve posture and reduce back pain:

  • Shoulder rolls.
  • Pushing chin in. ( invision giving yourself a double chin…YES I’m aware that’s not a good look! )
  • You can use foam rollers or massage balls to help loosen your muscles.
  • Lengthening the spine by standing or sitting tall and taking deep breaths.
  • Squeeze the glute muscles when walking. This trains your body to have proper posture even when you are not doing rigorous exercise, helping keep the pelivs level on the hip joint.
  • Exercise as often as you can. We recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day and everyday.
  • Stand as much as you can, if you have a sitting job you can try and obtain a standing desk.

 

 

Conclusion:  Our body adapts to the postures we spend the most time in. It’s critical to avoid developing bad habits that can gradually cause poor posture over the long-term. A few small changes can make a world of difference. Follow the tips outlined above and you will be on your way to improved posture and better overall health

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