How Posture Affects Our Health and Well-Being

When thinking about optimal function and good health a very important factor is often overlooked - our posture!

Posture can influence:

  • Muscles and bones
  • Breathing
  • Digestion
  • Heart health
  • Even our mood

With 65 million people in the U.S. experiencing back pain every year, posture-related back problems are the third leading reason for all doctors visits.(1)

When we're sitting, whether it be at work or school, driving, on the couch or at the dinner table, our body more commonly tends to 'slouch or slump' as opposed to engaging and being more upright. Living in a tech savvy world, our phones, tablets and computers are always an arms reach away and exacerbates this position. As our head moves in front of our shoulders and our shoulders roll forward, our spine loses its natural curves and closely mimics the 'letter C'.

This posture can lead to many musculoskeletal issues including:

  • Stiffness and soreness in the neck and back
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Numbness and tingling into the arms and hands
  • Shoulder pain
  • Disc bulges
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sciatic-like pain
  • Numbness and tingling into the legs and feet (2)

HEAL image

A picture depicting a desk worker sitting in a slouched, C-shaped poor posture vs. an engaged, upright correct posture.(3)

Our body recognizes sitting in this position and is more likely to maintain a 'slouched or slumped' posture even while we stand, walk or run!

How is your posture? Here are some signs of proper posture:

  • Shoulders are back, but ALSO down
  • Ears are directly above the shoulders

A proper posture is more than just sitting upright and pulling our shoulders and head back. It is about the way we move, the way we breathe and more importantly the way we feel.

Being aware of how we sit and stand is the first step in making a change to our posture. Many chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists and athletic trainers can implement exercises and stretches to aid in our postural change.

  • Here are some ways to change our posture that we can incorporate into our lives everyday:  
  • Adjusting the height of our computer monitor to eye level
  • Getting up from our desk every 60-90 minutes and standing/ walking
  • Adjusting the rearview mirror in our car higher than usual, ensuring an individual sits upright(4)
  • Breathing with our stomach using our diaphragm as opposed to our chest which incorporates the muscles in our neck and shoulders.

     Reversing our posture does not occur overnight. However, being aware and making the subtle changes to our daily habits and postures will go a long way to making a posture change allowing us to look, feel and live a happier and healthier lifestyle!

- Dr. Jeff Hogan, D.C.

1 “About Posture Month”, 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.

1 “About Posture Month”, 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2016

2  Hogan, Jeff. “Rabbits & Turtles & Posture OH MY!” Online video clip.

              YouTube. YouTube, 1 Apr. 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

3  “What is a good/neutral sitting posture?” Posture Monitor. 2016. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

4  Weiniger, Steven. “Will standing straight make people happier?” PosturePractice. PosturePractice. 2016.

                     Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

City of Northglenn
11701 Community Center Drive
Northglenn, CO 80233