Poor Posture: A Modern Day Epidemic
So often, I hear people acknowledge that they have bad posture and then minimize it by laughing it off. Most of the time, they are part of the portion (60%) of the work force that spends nearly eight hours in a seated position at a desk or using technology. Posture is so important, though, and probably shouldn’t be a laughing matter. It is one of the only aspects of health that, when improved, makes you look better, feel better, and function better. Posture is a great window into how well your body is working; it is more than just some aches and pains in the neck and upper back or an aesthetic problem.
Poor posture is a modern-day epidemic. Research has shown that children as young as 10 years of age are demonstrating spinal degeneration on x-ray. Certain postures, like forward head posture, have been linked to migraines, high blood pressure, and decreased lung capacity (less oxygen to your body). A 2004 study in the Journal of American Geriatric Society even showed a significant relationship between bad posture and early death. If you have bad posture, then it is a good news-bad news scenario. Obviously, the bad news is that poor posture has some negatives (and we didn’t even touch on the relationships with self-esteem and confidence), but the good news is that it can be improved.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT
- Be conscious about your posture: Posture is largely controlled by lifestyle habits, not age or genetics. A huge start to improving posture is to be mindful of your posture. Much of our bad posture can be attributed to bad habits. Over the next couple of days, take note of times during your day in which your posture isn’t so great. It could be sitting at your desk, driving, etc. Once you know when your posture tends to be bad, you can plant some posture cues to remind you to check and improve it.
- Take posture breaks: Unfortunately, due to our lifestyles, we have deconditioned ourselves to the point that our spines have trouble maintaining proper posture for longer than 20 minutes. Because of this, posture breaks are very important. It is not how many hours of sitting that is bad; it is how often you interrupt that sitting posture that is good for you. Every 30 minutes, take a 30 second to 2-minute-long posture break. During this break, stand up and stretch to reverse the flexed posture that settles in during sitting.
- Go see a chiropractor: Of course, I was going to recommend this one. The ABCS of posture consist of alignment, balance, core control, and strengthening/stretching muscles. Chiropractors excel with alignment, but they can also give pointers to improve the other components of posture.
CORPORATE POSTURE PROGRAM
For businesses, we have developed a corporate posture program. The following is what is covered in the Corporate Posture Program:
- Impact of posture on communication and sales
- The posture-health connection. How posture affects overall health
- Proper ergonomic design
- How to improve posture/prevent injury (ex: lifting techniques), including immediately valuable takeaways
- Positive effects of exercise and diet on productivity
Why is this program valuable?
- Research supports that the implementation of proper posture and ergonomic utilization of equipment while working will increase productivity by 54%, decrease absenteeism by 67%, a reduction of 93% in worker’s compensation cases, and a decreased employee turnover of 94%
- The number one reason for absenteeism among employees is due to musculoskeletal disorders
- 80% of people have had or currently have back pain
How does the program work?
- Most often for companies, we come in during a team/staff meeting
- In the past, we have provided food appropriate for the time of day (lunch/breakfast)
- We can adapt our program to different lengths of presentation time
For an appointment to have a complimentary consultation and posture check or to inquire more about the corporate posture program, call 215-259-5100 today!