Do you stand up straight and pay attention to your posture, or do you let your head hang and your shoulders curve inward? According to a new study, “mama” was right, standing up straight is truly beneficial. Research seems to indicate that good posture is relative to how independent you will be as a senior. If paying attention to your posture when you are young will help you lead a more independent life as you age, it is well worth the effort.
A group of researchers in Japan determined that the angle of the spine is associated with whether or not people will need help with daily living tasks as they age. Included in these tasks are things like bathing, toileting, feeding, dressing and getting in and out of a bed or chair. Subjects with the greatest spinal angle were noted to need the most help with basic care as they aged.
Why Posture is Important
Good posture is as important as eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting plenty of sleep and managing stress. When we have correct posture, our bodies are much more energy efficient and are able to do more without tiring.
Experts say that is impossible to be physically fit without good posture. When we hold our head up , and our shoulders back, our bones are aligned correctly and the muscles, joints and ligaments are working together in concert. The nervous system and vital organs function best when they are not compromised by a slouching frame. The digestive system works better when we stand or sit straight, and we are able to take in more oxygen rich blood to nourish our cells.
Posture-Related Problems on the Increase
Because we spend so much time in our cars, at our desks and even on the couch, posture-related problems in America are on the increase. We are a sedentary nation, and this creates a host of health problems for many people now and as they age. If you sit all day at a desk, it is easy for your head to start dropping and your shoulders to curve inwards.
Ergonomically designed work stations are on the rise as are standing desks that appear to help people maintain good posture. If you feel yourself starting to slouch, be aware and make the necessary corrections to sit or stand up straight. Holding good posture takes energy and effort, but starts with training the body. People with healthy posture seem to suffer less from headaches, neck, back, joint and shoulder pain than people who tend to slouch.
Test Your Posture
Do a little self test to see just how well you stand up. Stand with your back and head against a wall and your heels about six inches away from the baseboard. Touch your buttocks to the wall and check the distance with your hand between your lower back and the wall, and also your neck and the wall. If it is within an inch or two at the low back and two inches at your neck, your posture is excellent. If it is more, you should visit a spinal professional to help you restore your posture to match the normal curves of your spine.
– The Alternative Daily