Posture: More than meets the eye
Taking a look at the physiological and functional effects poor posture can have! Plus some family fun exercises Dr. Sara created for the little ones!
We all might know that poor posture has an impact on our back health, but do you know what it can do physiologically to our bodies, or how it impacts the other functions of your body? Dr. Sara loves sharing the wisdom of others in her professional network and Dr. Carl Lundgren has great insight on our posture! Plus some posture exercises for kids!
Posture: More Than Meets the Eye
Dr. Carl Lundgren
Have you ever thought about how important posture is to you? When you go to a job interview do you think about it? How about when you go on a date? Maybe you do not think about your posture but you probably notice posture of others. What do you think about a person who has their shoulders slumped and belly out? What kind of image or interpretation comes to mind? Can I trust this person? Is this person a model of productivity? Can I trust them to come through for me and get the job done? Posture is a very important aspect of our health and well-being but, “Despite considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians.” What we see and how we are seen plays a large part of our daily lives and influences greatly what we may be working to achieve with our families and in our careers.
Posture influences many body functions. “Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.”As the head moves forward all measures of health status are significantly reduced. Rene Cailliet, Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Southern California, concluded that forward head posture can add up to thirty (30) pounds of abnormal leverage on the spine, reduce lung capacity by as much as 30%, which can lead to heart and blood vascular disease. He determined a relationship between forward head posture and the digestive system as well as endorphin production affecting pain and the experience of pain.
Out of Breath
Posture affects how you look and how you feel but it can have more profound effects as well. A study in 2004 reported that bad posture can increase mortality; it was discovered that an increased curvature of the mid back produces higher mortality rates in the elderly. Remember the days when grandma would tell us to sit up straight — well it is time to check her posture and make sure she is not creating any unnecessary risk. The most dramatic study though, comes from England where it was found that loss of height increases the risk of heart disease. As a part of the British Regional Heart Study scientists found that men who lost 3cm in height were 64% more likely to die of a heart attack than those who lost less than 1cm and that over the 20 year period of the study, men lost an average of 1.67cm, and that height loss was associated with a 42% increased risk of heart attacks, even in men who had no history of cardiovascular disease.
Posture is an extremely important indicator of health and one that is poorly addressed by the present model of health care. In a world of incredible technological advances and access to information it is puzzling to see something so obvious so overlooked.
One of the great benefits of Dr. Sara O'Neill's work is that by shifting spinal tension patterns and awareness, better posture becomes a natural expression of who we are and not something we have to fight against which is a considerable energy drain. Good posture is only sustainable if it comes naturally and can be done even when we are not being vigilant. This is one of Dr. Sara O'Neill's goals as she works towards helping others to create vibrant sustainable health
1, 2013 Coast Chiropractic on November. "November Newsletter." Sunshine Coast Chiropractor in Sechelt. Coast Chiropractic Wellness Centre, 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 May 2017
Posture for Kids!
The earlier you can monitor posture can create better posture habits through your child's life! Dr. Sara has a myriad of resources but here are some great kid friendly exercises to do as a family!
The Monkey Stretch
Stretch: Pretend you are like a monkey and have a long curly tail!
Now stand tall and proud with your shoulders back and tuck
your tail under and between your legs tilting your pelvis.
Exercise: Lying Hamstring Stretch. Lie on the floor and raise one leg. 90 degrees or as high as you can.Clasp hands behind the leg and feel the stretch!
The Viper Stretch
Stretch: Pretend you are a viper! Vipers are tall, long and proud.
Tuck your chin back making your chin level to the floor and make your spine and neck long like a viper.
Exercise: While lying in bed with no pillow push the back of your head into the mattress and at the same time pull your chin in. Your head and neck will move backwards while you still face the ceiling. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat a few times.
The Crane Stretch
Stretch: Pretend you are a crane! Cranes have big wings and when they aren’t flying they tuck them in and back.
Tuck back your wings by tucking back and in your shoulder blades.
Exercise: Stand tall with your feet comfortably apart and place your elbow and hand against a wall. Turn your body and feet away from the wall, so that your elbow is behind you, no longer out to the side. Press your shoulder forward, until you only feel a stretch in the front chest. Hold this stretch.
Dr. Sara O'Neill has lots of resources for you and your family to keep your posture in check! Check out our new website - www.drsaraoneill.com to see what our office is all about. Or give the office a call at 519.880.0003.