Not only are we a highly sedentary society with the plethora of modern day conveniences, but we are also victims of prolonged sitting due to this sedentary lifestyle. Many times we mistakenly believe that poor posture only manifests itself in older adults, when we see an elderly person with kyphosis, or a hunchback. While it may have taken decades to reach this point, the usual culprit in this condition is poor posture. Being aware of our lifestyle and how it impacts our body can help prevent many ailments that can afflict us later in life, at a time when quality of life means that much more to us.
A study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealing strong links between excessive sitting throughout the day with heart-disease, diabetes, and higher odds of a shortened lifespan. On the surface, this isn’t really surprising because if we are sitting, we are not moving. If we are not moving, we are not burning the calories we are consuming. If we are not burning those calories, then our weight increases, and if our weight increases it puts considerable stress on our organs and our body. The reality is that we are born with this unrealistic notion that bad things only happen to others, not us, and that we’ll “start tomorrow” living a more healthy lifestyle. This is the popular mindset that inevitably gets us into trouble.
There’s a new saying being heard in the healthcare arena that “sitting is the new smoking.” This is our red flag that the time is now to change our habits. Correct posture is probably something we’re unsure of – what it looks like, what it feels like. The reality is that it means far more than standing straight and tall, it also means balance and equilibrium. Being in alignment, with each body region in its correct region, helps improve posture, reduce muscle stress, and minimize joint stress. This means the head is balanced over the torso, the torso over the pelvis, and the pelvis over the feet. Being aligned has many benefits such as lower risk of injury, increased stability, and more control – all essential to aging well.
Start today with a picture of your posture. Take inventory of your current state of affairs. Determine if all those hours working at a computer or hunching over a smartphone is beginning to take its toll on your posture. Posture can be corrected, but only if you know there is a problem and are willing to invest in doing something about it. After all, health is the only true wealth we really have.