We’ve all heard it at one point or another. Whether it was from a teacher or a parent, the phrase, “Sit up straight,” is a common one, but what you may not know is exactly how important it is to follow that advice. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at why you should be sitting up straight, how poor posture affects you, and how you can improve your posture. The first step to improving your posture is with a chiropractic adjustment. Here in Santa Fe, Dr. Steve Perlstein has been providing the best chiropractic care around for more than 30 years. Call today to schedule a visit!
-Check Your Posture
As you’re sitting there reading this, take a second to observe your current posture and ask yourself these questions.
- Are your feet flat on the floor?
- Are your knees at a 90-degree angle?
- Are your back, shoulders, and buttocks resting against the backrest of your chair?
- Does your chair provide adequate lumbar support?
- Does your backrest match with the natural curve of your spine?
- Are your shoulders even and relaxed, not hunching forward?
- Is your body weight distributed evenly across both of your hips?
- Are your knees at the same level or a little higher than your hips?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you are placing your spine under too much stress, which will eventually develop into moderate to severe back pain.
-How Does Bad Posture Affect You?
This is a subject we’ll be covering in-depth in a future blog post, but here are just a few of the ways bad posture can affect you.
Posture has a surprising effect on your mood and how you feel. A study at San Francisco State University found that between two groups of students, the group that was told to walk down a hall while slouching felt more depressed and had less energy than the other group, which skipped down the hall instead.
When you are hunched over, it folds your intestines over themselves, reducing their ability to digest, which can result in constipation and other digestive problems.
Just as it affects your bowels, slouching also causes issues with blood circulation. That means that your body is not able to properly send oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and organs that need them to operate as intended.
-Improving Your Posture
Having good posture doesn’t just help you stay healthy and happy, it also changes how people perceive you. When it comes to sitting, here are the ways you can have proper posture to avoid possible health issues.
- Sit up with your shoulders back against the backrest and your back straight. Your buttocks should be touching the back of the chair as well.
- Use a chair that provides good lumbar support, or supplement it with a small rolled-up towel or lumbar roll.
- Keep your body weight evenly distributed across both of your hips.
- Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, with your feet flat on the floor. Your knees should be even with or a little higher than your hips. Avoid crossing your legs.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for longer than half an hour.
When you make these changes to your posture, you’ll steer clear of back issues that plague so many people in a world that keeps us sitting through most of our days. It’s also a good idea to include some stretching to help keep you limber and promote your circulation. Not only will improving your posture help you avoid pain, it will also improve your mood and how others perceive you. To take your first steps toward a healthier back, call Dr. Steve Perlstein today. He’ll be more than happy to help you improve your posture with advice and adjustments. We hope to hear from you soon!