We’ve all heard that good posture is important, but not everyone can explain why. If you’re guilty of slouching or hunching, learning more about the benefits of a neutral spine may be the motivation you need to practice better posture. Learn how to achieve a neutral spine so you can enjoy these five benefits of better posture.
A SIMPLE RESET
Whether you’re standing or seated as you read this, take a second to consider your posture. From a seated position, both of your feet should rest flat on the floor, with your weight evenly distributed across both hips. Your back should be straight (with its natural curves) and your core strong. The shoulders should be back and relaxed, with your ears lining up above your collarbones. If you’re standing, the same applies, along with a mild bend in the knee so avoid lockout or hyperextension. Mentally checking in on your posture regularly will help ensure you maintain a neutral spine, which helps balance the surrounding muscles so they can support the body evenly.
If your evenings typically end with a headache, you can likely chalk it up to tension that builds in the back of the neck. If you work on a computer or spend a lot of time on a device, poor posture is common. Correcting that posture can reduce muscle tension, lessening the frequency of tension headaches.
REDUCED LOW BACK PAIN
Our bodies are built for movement, and today’s sedentary lifestyles don’t help. Slouching in a desk, and even sitting in for too long without breaks to stretch and move, puts a lot of stress on the low back by adding pressure to spinal discs and the surrounding ligaments and muscles. In addition to practicing good posture, take frequent breaks to move around and stretch the low back. It will go a long way in minimizing low back pain.
Our bodies waste a lot of energy when muscles are forced to accommodate for poor posture. Maintaining a neutral spine means surrounding muscles can function as intended, reducing fatigue and giving you more energy.
REDUCED TENSION IN THE NECK AND SHOULDERS
The forward head position that we use to look at phones and devices is particularly stressful on the upper back, neck, and shoulders. Proper alignment reduces strain for less tension. It’s not ideal to bring your phone up to eye level, but it’s a better option than craning your head forward and down.
GREATER LUNG CAPACITY
A slouched posture creates less space for your lungs. You’ll notice the difference when you stand tall — your lungs can fully expand for greater oxygen intake.
Practicing proper posture can bring about a world of change, and chiropractic can help you achieve alignment. Here in Reno, Dr. Lynelle McSweeney can offer chiropractic care to keep your spine aligned, while also offering tips and exercises for improved posture. Schedule your first visit today.