Whenever we think of bad posture we think of someone slouching over with their head forward and their shoulders rolled. We might also think of ‘sore neck, back or shoulders.’
While poor posture definitely puts excess pressure on the joints in our body which can cause ongoing pain, did you know that it can also affect your inner health?
By having altered posture you change the way your nervous system is able to control the inner workings of your body. Poor posture also puts your body in a state of fight or flight which means your body is unable to work as efficiently at simple bodily functions like digestion as it is too worried about dealing with the perceived stress.
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Some things posture can affect include:
Poor posture can impact your digestive system by putting pressure on your abdomen. Sitting in a slouched position can also make it difficult for food to travel down to the stomach, which can lead to heartburn or indigestion. When you sit upright, it creates an easier pathway for you to eat and drink without the possibility of feeling uncomfortable afterwards. Proper posture also helps you body enter rest and digest mode which will also help optimise digestion.
As poor posture winds up our fight or flight nervous system it can make it hard to go to sleep and stay asleep. It can also cause us to toss and turn a lot and even sometimes wake up feeling sore which gets us thinking we must have slept wrong. We know sleep is so important in our everyday lives and that it can help us mentally, physically, and emotionally so it makes sense that we really need good quality sleep. When we have a good posture throughout the day, it can assist in giving us a good night’s sleep!
Decreased Blood Circulation
When you’re sitting down for long periods of time, it causes your heart rate to slow down and therefore the blood circulation around your body to decrease. Blood is essential in the function of our organs, muscles, and our overall health.
Lack of Motivation
Next time you’re feeling unmotivated take note of your posture. You most likely won’t have your head held high, or standing tall with your shoulders back. You will be bent over, shoulders rounded and head probably slumped. This can lead to a lack of motivation, feeling sluggish and not feeling confident within yourself.
So how can we improve posture?
Chiropractic Care- Well of course this is our first recommendation but thats because it really can help! Chiropractors can help correct your posture by getting those stiff joints moving as well as by helping to relax the muscles that may be causing tension and stress. We can also help by giving specific tips and exercises to help you maintain your posture at home and work.
Taking breaks- We mentioned earlier how having a sedentary lifestyle can affect your blood circulation, so taking regular breaks can help improve blood flow as well as improving your ability to focus. It can help you reduce the middle of the day fatigue at work and help ease the stress on your body. Even taking a 2 minute walk every hour can help reset your body.
Exercise – Another obvious one but getting moving will help your posture. Strength work will help build important muscles which are important in holding your posture and cardio will help you be able to maintain it over the course of a day.
Work setup- For people who spend a large portion of their day sitting down working or studying its important to have a good set up which will help support you and your posture over the day. Some of our top tips for a good setup are:
- Have your head in a neutral position, allowing you to look forward rather than up or down all day. You may need to move your screen so it’s set up at eye level.
- Having an ergonomic chair that’s comfortable, will allow your spine’s natural curves to be supported and maintain a good posture throughout the day.
- If you don’t have a stand to sitting desk, making sure we get up to move around every hour can help.
Do you have poor posture? Visit a chiropractor today. If you’re experiencing pain related to your spine, joints or soft tissue, make an appointment with our chiropractors today. To make an appointment, book online or call 03 9720 0777 today.