Everyone has heard the phrase “Stand Up Straight! Don’t Slouch!” Behind those long forgotten words lies a very valuable and surprisingly simple message: Good posture is important because it helps your body function at top speed. It promotes movement efficiency and endurance and contributes to an overall feeling of well-being.
Our bodies change as we age. If you have poor posture, your bones are not properly aligned, and your muscles, joint and ligaments take more strain than nature intended. These natural changes make it especially important for older adults to maintain good posture, strength, flexibility and balance. Good posture can decrease your risk of falls!
Poor Posture Can Cause:
- Headaches & Fatigue
- Back, Neck & Shoulder Pain
- Breathing Problems
Tips for Maintaining Good Posture:
- Avoid staying in one position for long periods of time; inactivity causes muscle tension and weakness.
- Maintain a healthy weight; excess weight exerts a constant forward pull on the back muscles and weakens the abdomen.
- Sleep on a firm mattress and use a pillow under your head just big enough to maintain the normal cervical-neck-curve.
- Wear comfortable and well-supported shoes. Avoid high heeled or platform shoes, which distort the normal shape of the foot and throw the back’s natural curves out of alignment.
- Walk with good posture; keep head erect with chin parallel to the ground, allow arms to swing naturally, and keep feet pointed in the direction you are going.
For more exercise and posture tips, talk with your doctor about physical and occupational therapy. Therapy can help correct your bad posture and help alleviate chronic pain. No matter what age you are, every BODY will feel the benefits of better posture.