This entry of “Get In Motion” will hopefully give the mothers out there some ammo to back up your demands for children to “sit up straight.” It may give everyone some tips on a small effort investment that will change your life 10 years down the road.
Head posture, according to a 2006 study from the Harvard Med. School Journal, could be one of the greatest predictors of poor health (high risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung disorders) in the 65 – 75 year old population, but the most highly neglected area of health in the 25 – 35 age range. Poor posture increases the work load on the muscles around our spine, increases wear and tear on our joints and spinal discs, lowers our breathing capacity and the ability to oxygenate our bodies, and worst of all is a habit that is tough or impossible to break after we practice it for long periods.
For every inch our ears sit in front of our shoulders while looking at the computer screen, playing a video game, studying a textbook, etc. the weight of our head seems many times heavier to our muscles and spine. This causes most of the upper back pain that plagues our society. After assuming this position for long hours every day we get stuck in that position much like how hard it is to straighten an elbow that’s been cast at 90 degrees for 6 weeks. Aside from the consequences of neck and upper back pain, let’s demonstrate how this posture affects our shoulder and rotator cuff. While sitting in a chair, slouch your low back, reach your chin forward and then try to touch your ear with your elbow. Then sit up very straight and try again. The difference is amazing. So now we’ve got upper back pain, a rotator cuff tear, and we’re stuck in this poor postural position, all because we chose to overlook the importance of forming a good posture habit.
Good or bad posture is simply a choice. Neither way is more of a burden if we start now and not after the effects have set in. The best way to get into good head posture is to keep your eyes on the horizon and then draw your head straight back. Hold this for two seconds then slowly relax. When you feel like you’re not working, stop. That’s “your” good posture. If your ears end up far in front of your shoulders, you need to have yourself treated to reverse the restriction. If you realize how easy this change is, remind yourself every hour for a week to repeat the procedure and form a great habit.
For much more information please visit WWW.IMSJC.COM or call us at In Motion Spine & Joint Center. And listen to your mothers!