The Power of Posture: Uncovering the Surprising Health Benefits

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Here’s something on posture and pain that might help you.

I’m blogging to you about it, as it’s something that food alone cannot fix, but this article might give you pointers.

Although this article is auto-accredited to me, Brad Krause of offered to write me the blog article below, on ways to reduce pain. 

When reading his draft, I realised that, despite the fact that I knew better, I had been working long hours on my laptop at my desk, without addressing the height of the screen, and without having a separate keyboard. 

This had been contributing to my shoulder pain. I corrected that, and the pain stopped getting worse, so I knew I had to share this blog with you, in case you had been doing the same. (You have probably been more sensible than I was, but just in case…)

Good Posture

Everyone knows that good posture is important. But what many people don’t realize is just how vital good posture is for quality of life. From reducing back pain to improving your breathing, there are countless reasons why you should make an effort to improve your posture. Today, I’m covering some of the most important reasons why better posture is essential and offers some tips on how you can achieve it.

Being Tall Can Affect Posture

One of the most common misconceptions about posture is that it’s simply a matter of standing up straight. However, posture is a complex interplay of different muscle groups working together to keep your body upright and balanced. This is why being tall can make it more difficult to maintain good posture. That’s because taller people have more weight pulling them down and more distance for their muscles to cover. As a result, tall people often slouch without even realizing it.

Tech is Working Against Us

In today’s digital world, more and more of us are spending our days hunched over laptops, tablets, and phones. This constant forward head position puts a lot of strain on the muscles and ligaments in our necks and can lead to what’s known as “tech neck.” In addition to causing neck pain and stiffness, tech neck can also lead to poor posture overall. That’s because the muscles in the front of your neck become shortened and tight, while the muscles in the back become lengthened and weak. As a result, your head begins to tilt forward, which throws off your entire posture.

Care for Your Shoulders

Shoulder impingement (which was my issue) is a common condition where the shoulder’s tendons are compressed during arm lifting movements, leading to pain and discomfort. To resolve this issue, it’s crucial to adopt ergonomic practices while using a laptop, such as maintaining a correct posture, ensuring the screen is at eye level, and using an external keyboard and mouse to keep the shoulders relaxed. Regular breaks every hour to stretch and mobilize the shoulder joints can significantly aid in preventing recurrence. Strengthening exercises targeting the shoulder muscles, particularly the rotator cuff, can also enhance stability and reduce the risk of impingement. Lastly, it’s important to be mindful of one’s posture and movements throughout the day, not just while using the laptop, to ensure long-term shoulder health.

Stress is another Key Factor

Stress, a prevalent factor in modern life, can significantly impact posture, often leading to tightened muscles and a slouched position. This physical manifestation of stress not only exacerbates poor posture but can also contribute to back and neck pain. To combat this, it’s essential to adopt stress-reduction techniques both at home and in the workplace, such as mindfulness practices, ergonomic adjustments to workspaces, and eliminating clutter. By addressing stress, you not only improve your mental well-being but also promote healthier posture and physical health.

 A Different Pillow Might be the Answer

I suspect that another of the reasons I developed shoulder pain was that I had been trying out a new pillow that was too low for the height I needed, as I tend to sleep mainly on my side.

My shoulder got crunched for too long; I probably restricted the circulation and set up inflammation in the shoulder joint itself.  I had also been fighting off what was probably the latest Covid variant, after visiting London, and it tends to come with a side order of joint pain. I switched to a different pillow, which also helped.

Try this compendium of pillows for side sleepers, if you are a side sleeper with shoulder pain. It’s an American site, but many of the brands they mention are available in the UK.

A New Mattress Might be the Answer

The type of mattress you sleep on can also affect your posture. Softer mattresses allow your spine to sink into the mattress, which can cause you to wake up with back pain or stiffness. On the other hand, firmer mattresses provide the support your spine needs to stay aligned throughout the night. As a result, you’re less likely to experience pain or stiffness when you wake up in the morning.

 Yoga Can Help

Yoga is another great way to improve your posture. That’s because it helps lengthen and strengthen the muscles that support your spine, according to VeryWell Fit. In addition, yoga helps increase flexibility and improve range of motion. As a result, you’ll be less likely to experience pain or stiffness when you stand up straight. And if you do start to slouch, it will be easier for you to correct yourself thanks to increased awareness and improved range of motion.

 Yet Another Benefit of Exercise

Regular exercise is also important for maintaining good posture. That’s because it helps strengthen the muscles that support your spine and improve your overall balance. In addition, exercise helps increase flexibility and range of motion. As a result, you’ll be less likely to experience pain or stiffness when you stand up straight – and if you do start to slouch, it will be easier for you to fix yourself thanks to increased awareness and improved range of motion.

 If you’re having trouble getting started with an exercise routine, try adding some exercise here and there. For instance, if you live in a walkable area, leave the car and walk to conduct your errands instead of driving. Getting some extra steps can make a big difference over time.

Visiting the Osteopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist May Be in Order

Regular visits to an Osteopath, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist can play a pivotal role in maintaining and improving posture. Chiropractors specialise in aligning the spine, which is central to good posture. These adjustments can alleviate back and neck pain, often caused by poor postural habits. Moreover, proper spinal alignment enhances overall body function, promoting better respiratory, nervous system, and muscular health.

May I give a shout-out to Trowbridge Osteopaths and Wellbeing Centre, who gave my shoulder some shock wave treatment that kick-started the healing process and certainly helped me recover.

 Make Changes for Better Back Health

The journey to improving your posture is a worthwhile endeavor with far-reaching health benefits. It’s not just about standing taller; it’s about enhancing your overall well-being. From reducing chronic pain to boosting respiratory and digestive functions, the positive impacts of good posture permeate every aspect of your health. Remember, maintaining proper posture is a continuous process, requiring mindfulness and dedication.

Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Whether it’s your lifestyle, nutrition, or some very serious condition, Liz McGregor is here to help. Reach out today to find out more about the “Get Healthy For Life” programme, Wellbeing Coaching, or individualised consultations that tackle the root causes of your health issues and help your body to heal itself naturally.

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About the Author

Liz McGregor

I really am passionate about your health. What fulfils me and makes me truly happy, is helping you recover from whatever conditions you are struggling with.