Good posture is something to be admired. From improved physical appearance to, would you believe it; a longer life expectancy, the importance of our ability to stand straight and tall is not to be overlooked. Look at any toddler and it’s likely you’ll see all the traits of a perfectly aligned spine - straight back, flexibility, bent knees when lifting and a preference to squat rather than sit.
Fast track that child to high school and it’s a very different picture; rounded shoulders, stooped, forward leaning head and in some cases a gamut of aches and pains. So what is going wrong? Dr Tim Shakespeare of Life Rebel Chiropractic says we are simply using our bodies in a way that they aren’t built for.
“Our tendency to sit for prolonged periods, either at work or in front of the TV, along with a massive uptake of mobile technology that has us continuously looking downwards is having dramatic affects on our health.
“ If you think about cavemen, they were either moving, standing or lying down, never sitting and certainly not in a chair. It’s not natural to the mechanics of the human body”
Extended periods sitting leads to slumped posture that places pressure on the spine, nervous system and lungs and puts the cardiovascular system under strain. In fact changes in posture can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 147% irrespective of exercise.
From numerous reports and research papers to Ted Talks on the impact of poor posture, there’s plenty of evidence that highlights the need to stay active, sit less and most importantly maintain good spinal health.
Life Rebel Chiropratic have a number of methods to assess a clients’ posture including a system called Posture Screen Mobile that literally scans the body and combines data such as the weight and height of the patient to report the extent of postural changes.
As posture shifts over the years, the nervous system, ligaments and muscles are under increasing strain and can develop into other conditions. For example for every centimetre the head shifts forward, the effective head weight increases adding several kilos to the load your spine has to manage everyday.
Dr Shakespeare explains that while postural changes can lead to poor health, correcting and maintaining good alignment in the spine is achievable for everyone.
“All of the adjustments that chiropractic treatments focus on are about reversing the effects of a sedentary lifestyle; opening up the chest, allowing space and function to return and moving the body back to correct alignment.”
“Of course the younger you start to maintain your spinal health the better, it’s like any health routine - it’s no different to servicing your car - the better the care the longer it runs for.”