Are you a truck driver who drives for 80% of your day? An Uber or taxi driver? Or maybe someone who simply needs to travel a long distance to and from work every day? If so, you might be experiencing some back related issues fairly regularly, especially when driving.
Can poor posture decrease your mood?
Maybe the least obvious reason for the importance of having good posture is how it can affect your mood and self-esteem. When stressed at the office sitting at your computer, or even driving home from an intense day at work, having an upright posture can actually reduce this stress. A study done in 2014 found that when you are in a slumped posture, it can negatively affect your mood and self-esteem. If you’re reading this while seated, try maintaining an upright posture for 30 seconds and see if you can notice the difference. It may be subtle, but it’s a great habit to adapt – who wouldn’t want to be less stressed?
The effects poor posture can have on us
Poor sitting posture can look like having your shoulders slumped and forwards, your head is leaning toward the screen and your lower back is rounded – with no muscle activation. Let’s have a look at what this can do to us.
When you have your neck forward and in front of your body, the weight significantly increases compared to when you have your head straight and back. This is because your spine isn’t supporting the weight of your head, which can have numerous negative consequences.
A great analogy for this is when you’re holding a bowling ball close to your body (with the correct support of your spine and other muscles), the ball is much lighter compared to when you hold it out in front of you. All of the support is no longer there – this is the same for your head.
This unnecessary strain can lead to things like neck pain, headaches, spinal degeneration, stiffness, shoulder issues and TMJ issues to name a few. Your muscles aren’t working as they should, your nerves aren’t supplying those muscles and joints as best as they can.
Similar issues occur to the lower back region. Having a slumped back when sitting due to the deactivation of necessary muscles, can too lead to a wide range of issues. As the muscles surrounding your spine aren’t being activated in this position, there is no support for the spine and hence unnecessary stress is caused. This can lead to common conditions like low back pain, sciatica and tight muscles (which by themselves can have a negative effect on many other things).
Poor posture and breathing
It can be noted that maintaining a good, upright posture when standing or sitting can help with breathing. To see this in effect, take a deep breath while hunching over and compare it to taking a deep breath with your back neutral and upright. How much easier is that?
Should you visit a chiropractor?
You may be wondering whether or not you should visit a chiropractor for your posture. At Chiropractic Health, we address posture in the first visit by taking a postural analysis series of photos. With the help of consistent chiropractic visits, exercises to promote correct posture and awareness of poor postural habits, posture can be positively changed as shown when we re-take the photos after some time. Building these habits may be difficult at first, but the benefits of correct posture both prevents you from suffering from poor postural issues and promotes better health and wellbeing.
To see one of our experienced chiropractor in Geelong to improve your postural habits, click below!