Good posture has wide implications, local chiropractors say
BY rebecca palmer
Standing or sitting up straight can do more than just make you look taller, more confident and slimmer, according to chiropractors at the Integrated Wellness clinic in Bountiful.
In fact, proper posture is key to health, they say. Without it, you can suffer from impaired lung capacity, loss of proper bowel movements, reduced vitality and chronic pain.
Dr. Travis Castillon of Bountiful explained that because our spines or so closely integrated with our nervous systems, the compression and improper balance that come from poor posture can affect the whole body.
“If there’s any interference along the pathway, there can be problems,” he said.
One quick and easy check of your posture is as simple as looking in the mirror. Stand in the way you normally do and then, without moving, see whether your eyes and shoulders are level. For most people, according to an Integrated Wellness representative, they won’t be.
When you are seated, good posture means having your feet flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle, according to the website of Integrated Wellness, thewellgroup.com. Your buttocks, back and shoulders should be against the back of the chair, which should fit the natural curve of your spine. Your body weight should be equally distributed across your hips and your shoulders relaxed and even, not hunched forward.
When you are standing, maintain good posture by keeping your head directly over your shoulders, which should be directly over your pelvis, according to the website. It’s best to keep space between your feet and have one foot slightly in front of the other. Keep tight abdominal muscles and tuck your hips under. Finally, have a slight bend in your knees.
The American Chiropractic Association adds that when standing, you should bear most of your weight on the balls of your feet and that you should let your arms hand naturally at your sides.
When sleeping, the American Chiropractic Association recommends finding a comfortable mattress and sleeping with a pillow. It also recommends not sleeping on your stomach. If you sleep on your side, a common choice for people who have back pain, put a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, put one under your knees.
A quick fix
It can be tough to remember all the rules, but posture expert Carol Krucoff has a quick trick that might help.
Imagine a headlight right in the middle of your chest at the breast bone, she said, as reported by prevention.com. Whether you are sitting or standing, your headlight should always shine forward. Keep your head centered over your shoulders and extend your head toward the ceiling without lifting your chin.