To live a long, active, energetic life, few things matter more than posture!
The father of the modern fitness movement in the 1950s, Jack LaLane, was quoted as saying “You are only as young as your spine”.
- Posture has become one of the most overlooked aspects of good health and longevity.
- Research has shown a clear and direct connection between poor posture and diminished quality and longevity of human life.
- Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.
- As the head moves forward all measures of health status are significantly reduced.
- Rene Cailliet, Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Southern California, concluded that forward head posture can add up to thirty pounds of abnormal leverage on the spine, reduce lung capacity by as much as 30%, which can lead to heart and blood vascular disease.
- He determined a relationship between forward head posture and the digestive system as well as endorphin production affecting pain and the experience of pain.
Posture, obviously, isn’t only related to pain
The British Regional Heart Study
- As a part of the British Regional Heart Study scientists found that men who lost 3cm in height were 64% more likely to die of a heart attack than those who lost less than 1cm and that over the 20-year period of the study, men lost an average of 1.67cm.
- That height loss was associated with a 42% increased risk of heart attacks, even in men who had no history of cardiovascular disease.
Posture & Life Expectancy
- A group of scientists led by Dr. Deborah M. Kado wanted to see if there was any correlation between postural distortion and a person’s health.
- They started with the biggest health problem: death.
- They asked: “Was there any correlation between a person having a hyperkyphosis and having a decreased life expectancy?”
- Dr. Kado reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society that persons with hyperkyphosis (hunched over – head and shoulders rolled forward) were two times more likely to die from pulmonary causes.
- They were also 2.4 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those without poor posture.
- Too Much Sitting Can Shorten Your Life
- According to a study from the American Cancer Society the amount of time you spend sitting can affect your risk of death.
- Prolonged periods of sitting have a negative influence on key metabolic factors like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, and numerous other biomarkers of obesity and other chronic diseases.
Postural Assessment is KEY
- Postural assessment and correction is the key in the majority of non-traumatic neck pain.
- It’s not uncommon to observe 4cm of anterior head placement in new patients.
- Would you be surprised that your neck and shoulders hurt if you had a 5Kg bowling ball hanging around your neck?
What steps should you take?
First see a qualified professional who can assess your posture like the specialists at Maple Healthcare. Once your posture has been evaluated they can give you recommendations on how to correct, support and maintain a healthy and balanced posture.