We’ve all heard about the benefits of good posture – how it improves everything from spinal health to energy levels, even the appearance of our facial features and our general self-esteem.
When we talk about posture, what we really mean is how we are holding ourselves while standing or sitting. This sounds simple enough, but advice is often so generalised that it can be difficult to know what to focus on. Read on to find out the truth about the most common posture-related myths out there.
MYTH: Most people have bad posture.
We often hear concerns about ‘uneven shoulders’ and how sitting in a hunched position can ‘crush internal organs’. In fact, these things have no basis to them and very few people have posture so bad that it needs correcting. You don’t need to sit or stand perfectly straight all the time. In fact, the spine has a natural curvature of its own that can’t be entirely straightened. However, if you find it hard to stand upright without pain or suffer from scoliosis, posture correction and chiropractic treatment can help to improve symptoms.
MYTH: Bad posture gives you wrinkles and affects your facial features.
As we age, skin gradually loses elasticity and moisture, resulting in skin that looks creased. Collagen production also slows down which causes the skin to sag. Accumulation of sun damage can result in discoloration and the effects of gravity over years change features to an almost imperceptible degree. This is a natural and unavoidable part of the ageing process that isn’t influenced by posture.
MYTH: Sitting at a desk gives you bad posture.
This is a more complicated one! Holding any position for a long time without moving is bound to contribute to back, neck and shoulder pain and create a hunched posture. People usually happen to be sitting at desks when this happens. As long as you make time every thirty minutes to move around and stretch, being stuck at a desk shouldn’t affect your posture too much. In a nutshell, bad posture refers to any position that you’ve held for a long time without exercise.
MYTH: Back braces improve your posture.
While back braces can be helpful in the short term if they have been suggested by a healthcare professional, relying on something external to maintain your posture can result in your muscular system losing its efficiency and can create more problems than it solves. It’s best to only use back braces for a short period of time for certain activities, on the advice of a chiropractor or physiotherapist.
If you’re concerned about spinal health or back pain, book an appointment today at Sundial Clinic. We’re always happy to help you.