how poor posture affects your health

how poor posture affects your healthYour mother was right when she repeatedly told you to sit and stand up straight. Poor posture contributes to back pain and other medical conditions. Research has shown that poor posture can lead to:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Pinched nerves
  • Headaches
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Jaw pain/TMJ
  • Constipation, heartburn, and other GI issues
  • Rib compression and associated breathing disorders

Here are a few easy ways you can improve your posture and your health today:

  1. Stop slouching. Sit and stand tall by picturing a straight line through your head down to your feet.
  2. Sleep soundly. Your sleep posture is just as important as you sitting and standing posture. Sleep on your side or your back on a medium firm mattress to keep your spine in alignment.
  3. Take a deep breath. To breath properly your diaphragm needs enough space to fully expand and contract with each breath. You can breathe optimally when your body is lengthened and in proper alignment.
  4. Move your body. Exercise is so important for your health. Stretch, walk, and do strengthening exercises to keep your core and postural muscles strong. Yoga, swimming, dance and Tai Chi classes are also great ways to get in a workout while working on improving your posture.
  5. Use imagery. Picture in your mind what good posture looks like and adjust yourself to reflect that image.
  6. Avoid high heeled shoes. Wear flat, comfortable shoes with proper support.
  7. Don’t sit too long. Avoid prolonged periods of sitting as it can contribute to bad posture and slouching. Set an alarm or timer to remind yourself to stand up and move around.
  8. Maintain a healthy body weight. Carrying around extra weight puts unnecessary strain on your joints. Shedding those unwanted pounds can help you carry yourself straighter and taller.


David J. BenEliyahu, DC, DAAPM, DABCSP is the Administrative Director of the Back & Neck Pain Center at Mather Hospital.