Your posture could be affecting your health…and your LIFTS!
Fat Loss and Health | May 1, 2018
With spinal health week coming up (May 21st – 27th), I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about spinal health and how your posture could be affecting your health.
Your posture is like a mirror to your spine and your nervous system. It gives a lot of great information about your overall health and why certain areas of your body might not be functioning optimally and as a result could be causing you discomfort.
In a perfect world your spine should be straight from front to back and have 3 flowing proper curves from the side view. Sitting exacerbates pre-existing conditions that often lay dormant in even the most active of populations. We live in a very flexed society and fit or not, the cell phone, iPad, laptop etc. have all taken a toll on our posture.
So why should we care? Well, poor posture makes us look older, less fit, can cause great discomfort like neck and lower back pain, affect balance, and even alter lung capacity. Posture can actually affect every physiological function in the body from breathing to hormone production.
As soon as your head comes forward by more than 2.5 cm, the weight of your head can effectively double which can add as much as 5-10 kg to the weight of your head. This changes your centre of gravity and the rest of your body needs to compensate. This can also decrease lung capacity by as much as 30% which can be detrimental to long term health.
We live in a very sedentary society. Sitting and being in stagnant positions for long periods of time is actually more detrimental than smoking! People are sitting more than 8 hours per day on average. Due to this we are seeing more than ever the typical forward head posture, rounded shoulders, rounded upper back and extended low back in most individuals.
But even if you’re not sedentary you still need to take a close look at your posture. High level athletes and avid gym goers often times have worse posture than sedentary individuals. Active individuals still may sit for long periods during the day and then go straight into a heavy, metabolically demanding work out.
You posture should dictate your training. If you have a slouched and kyphotic upper body, then you are setting yourself up for poor biomechanics during your lifts and a higher potential risk of injury. If you have optimal posture and alignment, the right muscles will be more efficient and powerful because you have proper length-tension relationships.
Take home point; POSTURE MATTERS and EVERYONE sedentary or not needs posture work. The spine is flexible and so it is also very vulnerable. Work on your posture and improve your lifts!