Poor Posture and Technology
Mirror, mirror on the wall…who has the best posture of them all? Through an old fairy tale that I read to my son, I’ve tried to bring together what we may not notice in the mirror and a better health experience. Every day when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we look at our posture. Our posture, whether good or bad, is the window to our health. As part of my daily life, I enjoy looking at people’s posture. Depending on his/her posture, I am enlightened to the health of the patient.
The average person will spend more than 18 years of their adult life sitting, about 51.5 hours per week (The Sun). The average American adult will spend about 2 hours and 51 minutes on their smart phone each day (2017 Focus Report). We live in an age where almost every person (young and older) has a computer and a smartphone. U.S. smart phone owners aged 18 to 24 send 2,022 texts per month on average 67 texts on a daily basis and receive another 1,831. Young Americans send almost ten times as many texts as Americans over 55. The number of texts being sent is on the rise, especially among teenagers age 13 to 17. The average teenager now sends 3,339 texts per month. Today 40 million teenagers carry a backpack to school. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates more than 3,300 children age 5-14 were treated last year in the ER for book bag injuries. “It typically puts them off balance and gives them a posture that promotes low back pain,” said Dr. Wayne Yankus of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on School Health.
Proper Posture and your Health
The human body craves alignment. When we are properly aligned, our bones, not our muscles, support our weight, reducing effort and strain. The big payoff with proper posture is that we feel healthier, have more energy, and move gracefully. So while the word “posture” may conjure up images of book-balancing charm-school girls, it is not just about standing up straight. It’s about being aware of and connected to every part of yourself.
From the American Journal of Pain Management, Posture affects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production. Dr. Rene Cailliet, a musculoskeletal specialist stated that forward head posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine. This can pull the entire spine out of alignment. Forward head posture may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity. These breath-related effects are primarily due to the loss of the cervical lordosis, which blocks the action of the hyoid neck muscles, especially the inferior hyoid responsible for helping lift the first rib during inhalation. From the Mayo Clinic, forward head posture leads to long term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves. In the Journal of the American Geriatric Society reported Older men and women with hyperkyphotic posture have higher mortality rates. Despite the considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians (American Journal of Pain Management).
What are the benefits of Proper posture and Chiropractic care
As part of the current technology, our office uses a posture analysis which uses a digital camera and smartphone Apps to take a “snapshot” of your posture. Major spinal deviations in your posture are then identified, and the proper corrective exercise program is given to the patient to correct his/her imbalances. Better posture means better health, less fatigue, and builds resistance to infection (Garner JR: “Posture and Fatigue.” International Journal of Medicine and Surgery). Dr Thomas Harris from the Sports Medicine Guide stated that Postural strength and coordination are essential for injury prevention and sports performance. Homeostasis or balance in the body and nervous system function are ultimately connected with posture.
The ability to maintain proper muscle balance/relaxation requires a nervous system free of interference and misalignments. Restoration of balance is dependent upon correction of vertebral subluxations. Our Office incorporates modern technology, spinal adjustments and corrective exercises with two basic principles: The body is self-healing and self-regulating and the nervous system is the master controller of the body. Incomplete as this summary may be, it strongly suggests that aberrant posture may adversely affect health-related quality of life. Better posture is for everyone. It will allow you to live your life to the fullest and open the window to your health.