After almost 35 years of leaning over people, my posture has “gone to pot.”  As a female dentist, it is important to keep the upper body parts as far away from the patient as possible.  Hence, I have become an expert slumper!  Actually, my carriage wasn’t all that upright before I started Dental School because I was always “the tall girl” all through elementary school.  In fourth grade, I was taller than my teacher and was convinced that I would be the first female 7-foot NBA player.  It wasn’t a dream that I aspired to.  It was a terrifying fear harbored deep in my grade-school psyche. But you don’t have to be tall to have poor posture.  Poor posture happens gradually over time. As part of my START SOMEWHERE RESET, I’m standing taller and thought you might want to also.

Here are five ways that posture influences our chances of LIVING YOUNGER:

  • Upright posture enhances better breathing by opening up airways.  Allowing more oxygen to flow through the heart and vessels, energy increases and every organ functions more efficiently.
  • Good posture reduces back and neck pain.  Slouching puts stress on the spine and can strain muscles.  Over time, this stress can actually change the anatomy of the spine, leading to constricted blood vessels and nerves.  
  • Sitting upright can help build a stronger core.  It extends the midback which positions the pelvis in a way that strengthens core muscles.  A stronger core improves balance and reduces proneness to injury.
  • The University of Auckland recently released a breakthrough study concluding that an upright sitting position can function as a coping mechanism against stress.   
  • Last but certainly not least, standing up straight increases confidence.  It makes you look slimmer and more successful.  This was actually studied at Ohio State University where they found that those participants who slumped were more unsure of themselves.    

The theory of posture affecting mood that I referred to in the above bullet points was tested in New Zealand and published in Health Psychology in June 2015.  They put 74 seated participants in either a slumped position or in upright posture. Each person was strapped with physiotherapy tape into their respective positions to hold their posture throughout the study. Blood pressure and heart rates were measured during “psychological stress tasks”.  Linguistic analysis showed that those who were slumped used more emotionally negative words.  The upright participants reported better mood and lower fear.  The study concluded that “sitting upright may may be a simple behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress.”

My mother would always say, “Be proud of your height.”   I knew she was right but it was worrisome to always be back row in the center for every class picture.  I did stop growing in 5th grade and now it would be nice to have another inch or two.  Recently she urged me to stand up straighter, and that’s what prompted this post.

What is correct posture?  Basically, it is keeping each part of the body in alignment with it neighboring parts.  Proper posture supports and keeps all parts balanced.  It should be possible to draw a straight line from the earlobe through the shoulder, hip, knee, and into the middle of the ankle.

START SOMEWHERE with me today to stand taller, feel better and LIVE YOUNGER.  We are stronger together.

Good Posture Happens

Good Posture Happens