Posture is spoken about on a regular basis in our office, but recently it has become an even more commonly discussed topic than ever before. With people spending more time sitting in front of computers and electronic devices, while generally also moving around less, we are finding it more and more common for people to develop poor posture. The reason why this is important to bring up is because poor posture can lead to many problems relating to your health and well being, not to mention that unpleasant hump on the back of your neck which you may already be noticing.
You might be wondering why posture is important. Did you know that the human spine houses and protects our spinal cord, which connects our brain and central nervous system to the rest of our body? Under constant postural strain, the normal movement of the spine can be affected, which then places stress on the nervous system, the ultimate system of the body. Therefore, the integrity of your spine is essential to how you heal, function and ultimately how healthy you are.
In this article we will discuss signs of poor posture, steps to improve it, and ergonomic changes for home and work.
Signs of poor posture include: rounded shoulders (usually with tight chest muscles), uneven shoulders (look in the mirror and you might be surprised), forward head carriage (ears should be directly above shoulder), and stomach or pelvis sticking out either backwards or forwards. Common symptoms of poor posture include frequent headaches, neck and back pain, aching joints, stiffness, fatigue, respiratory issues, problems with digestion, constipation, and potential heart problems.
Ergonomic changes can be easily made at home, work and in your everyday life to decrease bad posture habits and decrease any problems you may already be facing.
Smartphones: When using these devices it’s best to bring them up to your face instead of your face down toward them. Raise your arms up, bringing your elbows away from your body and keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees, keep your head up right and look at your phone with yours eyes and not with your head.
Computers: Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor. Sit up straight with you hips far back in the chair. Keep the keyboard close to you. The monitor should be directly in front of you and it should be a few inches above eye level. You can use many things to raise your monitor including old books. Get creative but make sure it’s sturdy.
Laptops: These devices are made to be convenient because of their portability, but they are not the greatest for our posture to use at great lengths day after day. When using a laptop it is still important to sit properly in a chair as explained above. Laptop stands can be purchased to help raise your computer up which gives your screen a better angle decreasing stress and strain on your neck. You can also place a thin book under your laptop to raise it up creating a better angle for your screen.
By utilizing these ergonomic tips you are already on your way to improved posture just by simply changing some of these habits. It’s also important to get up and move around every 45-60 minutes to loosen up your joints and help increase circulation.
A simple way to improve your posture is by doing postural exercises, which can be found online including on our Rubinstein Family Chiropractic YouTube page. It’s also important to remind you to encourage your children to think about their own posture and hopefully you will do exercises with them.
Chiropractic is also very effective in improving posture by aligning the spine and improving joint flexibility. It may also take stress off of certain muscle groups allowing for less stress on the body. Good posture + popper alignment = Optimal Function of the body. If you feel you already have poor posture it might be a good idea to go to a chiropractor for an evaluation and plan of action.
If you would like a free digital posture evaluation please contact our office and we will be happy to provide this service for you.
The husband and wife team of Drs. Melissa and Shimon Rubinstein of Rubinstein Family Chiropractic, have a family-based Wellness practice in the heart of Cutler Bay located on the corner of Old Cutler Road and Franjo Road. They look forward to enhancing the lives of Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and South Dade. For more information visit RubinsteinFamilyChiro.com, call (305) 336-1803 and follow @RubinsteinFamilychiro on Instagram and Facebook