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ADVERTISING: Advertorial — 5 unknown side effects of poor posture

by DR. WAYNE M. FICHTER JR./Natural Spine Solutions
| May 11, 2022 1:00 AM

When I say “Posture” what do you think of?

Is slouching the first thing that comes to mind? Or your mother telling you to sit up straight? We correlate posture with proper appearance. Unfortunately, the effects of posture go much deeper than our appearance. Yes posture can have a tremendous impact on appearance, but it can make a greater impact on our health! Healthy posture begins with proper spinal alignment that extends to the extremities, regardless of the position that the body is in.

With the increased use of electronics, we are under constant threat. Whether it’s binge watching a whole season of Yellowstone in one day, playing video games, having your computer workstation not set up properly or the constant forward head tilt associated with hand held devices, failing to maintain a healthy posture for extended periods can wreak havoc on the human body.

Consider these potential costs of unhealthy posture and rewards that can come from maintaining a healthy posture.

Effects on breathing

Multiple studies have shown that a slumped or poor posture significantly reduces lung capacity. It has been observed that your lung capacity can be affected by up to thirty percent when you hunch or lean forward too much.

A 2018 study published in BioMed Research International reported that simply sitting with forward head posture had an “immediate negative impact on respiratory function” compared to sitting with an upright posture.

Effects on the Heart

A study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006 followed over 4,000 men for 20 years. Researchers assessed and monitored each subject’s posture and evaluated health risks in relationship with poor posture.

The men who experienced the greatest posture deviations over the 20 year period experienced a 64% higher risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Also researchers at the University of Leeds, UK, found that muscles in your neck have a direct connection to part of the brainstem that helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

Effects on Digestion

Slouched posture after a meal can trigger heartburn caused by acid reflux. "Slouching puts pressure on the abdomen, which can force stomach acid in the wrong direction," explains Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Effects on energy and mood

Often a person’s mood is reflected in the way they stand, so much so that a hunched over posture is listed as a diagnostic symptom of clinical depression.

Effects on musculoskeletal system

In a study published in Surgical Technology International’s 25th edition, New York spine surgeon Kenneth Hansraj conducted a study which found “bending your head to look at your mobile device held in your hands can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your neck” It is obvious that unhealthy posture puts the musculoskeletal system in potentially awkward or stressed positions that can cause pain or disc injuries.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Good posture supports good health.”

Your best defense against poor posture and the effects of it, is trying to be conscious about how you’re standing, sitting, or sleeping. This one small change can make all the difference.

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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene. For more information, please contact us at 208-966-4425.

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