Slouching. We all do it.
Glamourous Sophisticated Cool...
Other than a nagging pain in your shoulders and upper back, what are the real consequences of a droopy posture? First of all, slouching looks bad. It’s tough to project confidence if you look like you are withering! Amy Cuddy did an amazing study on the judging other people and power dynamics on her acclaimed TED talks. Here is the link
Slouching is a habit, just as standing up straight is a habit. The fact that all of us are living in a digital age, habitually looking down at our devices, it is no big surprise we have terrible posture. In addition to a slumped over posture looking bad, consider this: healthy brains function by using oxygen. If you reduce the amount of oxygen your brain receives by twenty-five percent with each breath, would it matter? You bet it does! Long periods of time hunched over a desk or phone compresses the organs, decreasing lung capacity. It's like breathing into a paper bag...yes we do get oxygen but also rebreathing the exhales. This equates to delivering less air to the brain (and the rest of the body).
Negatives Attributed to Slouching
Have you ever seen a world class runner bent over gasping for breath? No. These athletes are vertical to the ground, head up, chest open. They have learned from years of practice that opening up the lungs, upright, allows for the exchange of air. When you see runners off to the side bent over with a stitch they are experiencing CO2 buildup, they haven't been able to blow off enough used air. When we fatigue while running or walking our natural tendency is to slouch making the problem worse.
Sitting in a slumped position puts excessive pressure on key organs like the lungs, heart, liver, pancreas and gut making it almost impossible for them to function at 100 percent. Day after day, year after year, this pressure causes damage. This is the effect of slouching. Furthermore, your muscles burn less fat, blood flows slower and saturated fatty acids are more likely to clog your arteries. Over time, excessive slouching can also lead to muscle degeneration and early onset of osteoporosis.
I Don't Want To Be Like That!
We’ve all seen the elderly lady (and men too) hobbling along all hunched over. Why can’t she just stand up?! Unfortunately, years of slouching coupled with osteoporosis, make this simply impossible. Pressure on the anterior aspect of the bones in the spine can cause compression fractures. In fact, a whopping 25 percent of all postmenopausal women will have at least one compression fracture during their lifetime! These fractures are not because of a fall, they are from bad posture!
An Easy, Convenient Way To Start
The good news is you don’t have to settle for what seems to be inevitable. You can do something about your posture right now to positively impact your health, appearance, and attitude. So, what do we do? Here is a quick guide to know if your pain is because of bad posture.
First, recognize that you do slouch.
(2) Start embracing the idea that you must reverse the bad habit.
(3) Sit on the front edge of your chair at work, if you don't sit up tall you will fall forward.
(4) Take every opportunity you have to move lift up your chest. Roll your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull them down.
(5) Lift your chin up, tilt your head back and look straight up to the ceiling stretching the front of your neck.
(6) Pull your arms behind you, clasp your hands together and stretch your chest. Do not lean forward doing this.
(7) When walking or running, check your posture first. If you start leaning forward, probably due to fatigue, slow down the pace, regroup and continue on.
All of these hints are easy, take very little time and make a huge impact on your overall wellbeing.
If you feel your spine is stiff and it is difficult to stand up tall consider trying PurePosture to align and stretch your spine safely and effectively. Doctor recommended, easy and convenient. PurePosture is like a chiropractic adjustment using your own body weight and gravity. This works instantly to improve your posture, increase flexibility and keep your bones and organs healthy.
And for goodness sake, listen to your mother. "Stand up straight!"