POSITION_OF_SKELETON_IN_GOOD_AND_POOR_POSTURE_-_NARA_-_515194May is National Posture Awareness Month!

Posture ranks right at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting a good night’s sleep and avoiding potentially harmful substances. Good posture enables you to do things with more energy, less stress and fatigue.

Without good posture, you can’t be really healthy.

Surprised? Well, you’re not alone. The importance of good posture in overall health is often overlooked. In fact, the benefits of good posture may be one of the best kept secrets. The good news is that anyone can avoid the problems caused by bad posture, and improvement can be made at any age.

Good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. It means your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Furthermore, good posture is an important contributing factor in the normal functioning of your nervous system.

Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency is compromised. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems (such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments), a person who has poor posture is often tired, unable to work efficiently or move properly. A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that as the curve in the middle back (kyphosis) increased, life expectancy decreased.

Often, poor posture develops because of accidents or falls. But bad posture is mainly caused by environmental factors and bad habits. This means that you have control of your posture.

People spend an average of 2 to 4 hours each day with their neck bent at this unnatural angle while sending emails or texts. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours a year. The average adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds when it’s in the upright or neutral position. However because of gravitational pull, your cranium becomes heavier the further forward your head is. Studies have found that bending your head forward at a 60o angle places 60 pounds worth of pressure on your cervical spine, the region of your spine above the shoulders. That’s more than the weight of the average 7 year old.

Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to early wear, tear, spinal degeneration and possibly future surgeries.

We can help correct spinal curves from improper posture and prevent related health problems. Give us a call today at 630-629-9500.

-Dr Dave Herlihy