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Is There Such A Thing As Bad Posture?



Key Points:

  • There is no "bad" posture only the ability to move into and out of different positions pain free

  • Your body only reacts to prolonged or repetitive stress placed on the body, positive or negative

  • Prolonged sitting with slouched posture can diminish gut health and breathing

  • It is more beneficials to perform many shorter stretches than save all for one designated time


Prolonged poor posture can lead to a variety of health issues, including back pain, neck strain, muscle imbalance, and reduced flexibility. It can also affect digestion and circulation. To correct poor posture, consider the following: practice mindful sitting and standing, perform exercises to strengthen your core and back muscles, use ergonomic chairs and accessories, take regular breaks to stretch, and be mindful of your posture throughout the day.

 

The body only reacts to the stress we put on it, regardless of positive or negative. If we spend all day on our phone or computer with an extended neck, rounded shoulders, and posterior pelvic tilt, the body will think, “I seem to be spending a lot of time in this position, I might as well get comfortable here.” This will trigger the muscles to stretch, weaken, and maybe spasm at first. Eventually you won’t notice the poor consistent posture, and it will be your new normal.

 

Simply shifting out of any posture after a brief duration will keep the body guessing and make it harder for it to attempt to adapt. Remember, gravity will always win. If you have ever played with playdough, you know if you build something tall, it will eventually begin to sag and without help it will slump, and plop down into something not recognizable of your art. The same thing happens with your body.




  {Progressive stress on the cervical spine}


Maybe most important to long term health is the effect posture has on breathing and the GI motility. Breathing tends to become shallow and inefficient requiring a greater workload on the body, where you not only get less oxygen but it’s harder to achieve a full breath, potentially increasing general fatigue and overall wellness.  A flexed posture can also lead to diminished space in the GI tract leading to IBS, constipation, and bloating.

 

A helpful tip is to be mindful of how much time you are spending in any given position. Taking shorter, more numerous breaks is going to be more beneficial than waiting 3 hours and taking one longer break.

 

Quick stretches:


Start in the neutral position, and retract your neck like it is sliding along a shelf

I perform these driving everyday into my head rest

20-60x with a slight pause and hold


Should feel at base of the skull or along the neck




Sitting in a chair arch over the chair and hold for a moment. Can perform without a chair or on the ground with a foam roller.


5-8x- 2-3x day or more often





I prefer to stretch one pec/arm at a time.

you can add a thoracic or lumbar rotation with it as well looking back over the opposite shoulder.


hold 30s-1min 3-4x 1-2 a day











Can do in sitting or standing

A nice exercise to perform throughout the day to check on back health.


May feel from hamstrings to mid back depending on tightness.


6-10x with holds just before pain/discomfort either directions. Perform every hour or so.

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