Posture, is it worth it?
We all grew up with a mother, a grandmother or an aunt telling us to stand up straight! Show me one person that wasn’t annoyed by this.
Posture has a bad rep!
Which is a shame giving that your spine stands in the centre of almost everything.
So you’ve slouched as soon as you got out of reach of your aunt Majorie (sorry auntie) and here you are 20 years later with a job that has you desk bound all day, a cell phone, a tablet and a laptop that help you to work on your “Text-Neck¹” and “iPhone thumb²” even in your spare time.
What are the costs of bad posture?
The estimated cost to US employers from lost working days and reduced productivity for back pain alone is over $7 billion per year. And that’s just the cost for the employer. The cost you pay for painkillers, massages, physiotherapy, chiropractic and osteopathic treatments isn’t included in this statistic. And what price tag do you put on a day and night spent in pain? 2016 Australians spent an estimated $3.9 billion on alternative health therapies including therapies such as chiropractic and naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine as well as homoeopathic and aromatherapy products. Roughly a third of what individuals spend on health – to the tune of $9.3 billion – goes on vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter painkillers and other unsubsidised drugs³. A good portion of this would go towards problems with back, neck and headaches as results of wrong alignment.
Even the mildest pain reduces our ability to concentrate and focus on everyday tasks – severely impacting the ability to perform in the workplace. Living with chronic pain gradually wears down motivation and is correlated with an increased risk of depression, stress, fatigue and reduced self-esteem.
“When you make bad posture a part of your daily routine, you are constantly retraining your body to function inappropriately.”
Still not convinced that aunt Majorie had it right? Maybe this will get you over the line. All these symptoms are related to bad posture:
- Back Pain
- Shoulder tension
- Neck Pain
- Breathing problems
- Sleep Problems
- Negative Moods
- Less Motivation
- High Blood Pressure
I could go on and on but I’m sure you are with me now.
So, you want to have good posture? Great, help isn’t far. There are a number of exercises that can support you in maintaining good posture to get you safely through your working day.
To get started and to get rid of bad habits, exercise alone might not be enough though.
Years of slouching and slumping can lead to shortened muscles.and misalignment of hips and spine. A massage can help release tension in tight muscles. The Dorn Method can help you to correct misalignments and give you simple and handy movements that you can easily do at home. (check out www.dorn-method.com).
But first of all be mindful and remember:
Posture isn’t something passive, it is a dynamic activity!
Not even the most expensive office chair will be able to do the work for you. It comes down to yourself to avoid pain and the flow on effects of bad posture. The good news is, a change of attitude can change your posture and that will change your life and will save you money!
Watch this space, next months I will share with you some proven exercises and tricks for a healthy spine.
¹The Text Neck Institute defines the syndrome as an “overuse syndrome involving the head, neck, and shoulders, usually resulting from excessive strain on the spine from looking in a forward and downward position at any hand held mobile device, i.e., mobile phone, video game unit, computer, mp3 player, e-reader. This can cause headaches, neck pain, shoulder and arm pain, breathing compromise, and much more.”
²A repetitive strain injury know as Blackberry thumb, iPhone thumb, or in legitimate medical circles, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, affects the thumb tendons on the thumb side of the wrist causing discomfort, swelling, and in some cases a need for medical intervention or even surgery.
³ “How much Australians spend on health” by Georgina Dent, The Sydney Morning Herald, 25.02.2017