Rhonda Hamer, ACE CPT
When was the last time someone told you “Stand up straight, young man,” or “Sit up properly, young lady”? It’s probably been a while since someone corrected your posture. Does good posture even matter with 21st century lifestyles?
Our 21st century world is one of high-tech gadgets that make life easier but with extended periods of sitting. If you use a computer, text, drive a car, watch TV or even read a book, chances are you are practicing poor posture at some point in your day.
Using computers and cell phones lead to being hunched over the keyboard with shoulders forward, head down. Driving a car requires reaching forward, usually with just one arm and perhaps leaning on the other. Reading and watching television on a comfy couch or recliner allows us to settle in against the pillows, slump down and relax.
All of these activities, and many others, pull us out of proper postural alignment. And that’s just while we’re stationary. Poor posture while performing movements – walking, bending, lifting, reaching - can increase the risk of falls and injuries at any age.
Poor posture can lead to many health complications now and as we get older. Approximately 80% of American adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives and poor posture is one contributing factor. Poor posture can cause pain and weakness in every system of the body right down to internal organs.
There’s hope for us all: standing, sitting, moving and even lying with good posture can help ward off back pain and osteoporosis, improve digestion and breathing, help us sleep better and so much more. Proper posture aids in better balance, will make your workouts more effective and reduce the risk of injury. Contact one of our Personal Trainers for a postural assessment and exercises to improve your posture. And, yes, it can even make you taller. So, stand up straight, young man and sit up, young lady!