Sit Up Straight! Why Posture is Important
Like a fine-tuned sports car, the human body is designed to perform with precision; it’s moving parts aligned in perfect balance to maximize efficiency and minimize friction.
Our posture – the position in which we hold our body – controls this balance. Whether we’re walking, sitting, or lying down, maintaining correct posture ensures that no one part of our body is being overworked or under unnecessary pressure.
Just like when a car gets thrown out of alignment and it’s gears start grinding together, poor posture shifts our mechanics out of balance as well. This forces our body to make adjustments to compensate, expending valuable energy and creating unnecessary wear and tear on our joints.
Over time, these effects of poor posture can add up to serious health issues, which makes correct posture an important part of a long-term health strategy. Here are three issues directly effected by our posture:
When we hunch over, like working at computer, we move our heads forward and out of alignment. This increases the weight our neck and back muscles need to support. This position puts a constant strain on the muscles behind our head, while underworking the muscles of the chest, making them shorter and weaker.
This imbalance results in neck stiffness and tightness, reducing the range of motion of our neck and back. This increases chances of injury, limits the valuable benefits from exercise, and negatively effects sleep habits; all factors that are important to long term health.
Until your posture is corrected and a solid foundation is returned, these weak points in your mechanics can result in a continuous injury-cycle, as your body continues to compensate for the imbalances.
When aligned properly, our body’s joints are stabilized by the surrounding muscles and tendons. This support allows our bones to move smoothly against each other. Poor posture reduces this stability, putting additional pressure on the cartilage that cushions the joint.
The increased friction from this pressure can eventually wear away the cartilage, resulting in chronic inflammation that is a direct cause of joint ailments like osteoarthritis. The debilitating effect that joint issues can have, particularly from the degeneration of the disks that make up your spine, make it even more important to prioritize correct posture.
The cells that make up our body are dependent on oxygen to function. The full, deep breaths that come naturally with correct posture provide that oxygen. Conversely, poor posture gradually pulls our shoulders inward, constricting and weakening the chest muscles responsible for expanding and contracting our lungs.
This results in shallower breaths, reducing the amount of oxygen we can inhale. Not only does this limit the amount of oxygen-rich blood our body can produce, it also results in less CO2 being expelled. Both of these factors combine to have a direct effect on our immune system, and our body’s overall ability to function properly.
Considering the significant impact it can have on our muscular, skeletal, and respiratory systems, it is clear that posture is an important factor in our long term health. So the next time you have a stiff neck or sore back, don’t just grab the Advil and forget about it. Listen to your body, and like a responsible car owner who knows the long-term value of routine maintenance, get your alignment checked out before small issues turn into big ones.
Thank you for reading! Knowledge is power, and learning is key to living a better life.
We hope you found this article helpful and learned something interesting. If you did, feel free to bookmark it and use the options below to share it with a friend!