All it takes is a quick look back at your day to illustrate how little you likely think about posture.
The truth is that it’s just not something most people consider as they navigate their day or perform activities that are often taken for granted. But body position can play a major role in your susceptibility to chronic pain and other health concerns.
Sitting in front of a computer or television screen, looking down while captivated by a good book, or scrolling through your phone can all get you into the habit of hunching or slouching. Over time, this can lead to a condition known as kyphosis.
Kyphosis is marked by difficulty standing up straight and curvature in the upper back. It can happen to people with arthritis or osteoporosis and can also lead to joint pain, reduced strength and balance, and potentially increase the risk of falls and injury.
Strong bones and good posture matter. If you don’t have osteoporosis or another underlying condition to cause kyphosis, you certainly don’t want to go out and get it yourself.
Poor posture has the potential to pull your body out of line. This puts pressure on multiple joints, bones, and muscles, contributing to the risk of chronic pain. For example, if you’ve got a sore knee, what is likely to happen?
You got it: your ankles, hips, and back compensate and are pulled out of position.
Paying a little more attention to posture, however, can set things back up. Along with doing your best to stand up tall, sit with your back straight, or bring screens and pages up to your face, some exercises can strengthen muscles required for proper posture.
Yoga and tai chi can be very helpful. Both encourage flexibility and strength while promoting better movement patterns. Yoga is centered around gentle stretches and poses while tai chi has you moving through slow, fluid, and choreographed moves.
You might not think about how you’re positioned each day, but your body knows. Poor posture can change how you move over time and lead to pain and injury. Getting ahead of it before it’s too late can save you future troubles.