How many times have you finished a long day of work with grueling back-pain?
Well, you’re not alone.
80% of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives, and the number one reason for that is poor posture, according to the American Chiropractic Association. The truth is, our bodies were not designed to sit all day and slouch over our computers and smart-phones. In a sedentary instant, slouching became an accepted epidemic.
But it shouldn’t be accepted.
We shouldn’t have to pick between sitting, and sitting right. We can combine the two.
Is this you?
Unfortunately, this is most of us. We are all slouchers. Truth is, our bodies were not built for continuous hours of sitting, and our heads have not evolved to peer down at smartphones. And so, we have adopted this un-natural kyphosis to accommodate our technological, sedentary lifestyle.
What most people don’t know though is that our posture is actually much more powerful and important than you might realize. Yes, a good posture exudes confidence and control, but the benefits don’t end there…
Mom’s are always right, right?
Remember all those years that mom would pass by us and yell at us to “sit up straight!” Or all the times she creeped up behind us and pressed her hands on our backs, correcting our posture?
Well, she was right about that too.
And this time, science has her back.
Without taking a single step, you can burn up to 350 calories a day by just sitting upright! Yep, thats right, being upright is possibly the easiest weight loss method. By sitting upright, you activate many of your small abdominal and low back muscles, and give yourself a metabolic boosting advantage. Practicing good posture regularly will build muscle and when you build muscle, you burn calories. That simple. Chiropractor James Emmett explains that you lose weight because you are carrying yourself better; you are “taking tension off the whole body and everything starts to flow better.”
And just as well, sitting upright makes you look taller and slimmer even without burning calories! When you slouch you let your guts hang out and you look heavier than you really are. Being upright forces you to pull everything up and in, and in turn you look thinner. So goes the saying, fake it till you make it!
Evolution has made us upright
I want to talk about evolution. Over the course of human history, our famous transition into an upright, bipedal species marks our transition into a human species. Nature has made us upright. So if our bodies were made this way, why is it so damn hard to hold a perfect stature!?
Well, our bodies were not made to live in the sedentary, technological landscape that we have created… We were not made to sit all day, not made to look at a computer screen, and not made to slouch over our smartphones. And so, our bodies have succumbed to a far less optimal slouching state to accommodate our sedentary life. We have accepted this unfortunate transformation and accepted it as a minor blow in order to be functional, sitting members of society. Slouching has become an accepted epidemic…
Personal Quiz Time!
- At work or at home, do you, on average, sit for less than 2-4 hours a day? (yes or no)
- While you sit or stand, are your ears in line with your shoulders? (yes or no)
- While you sit, do you have both feet flat on the floor? (yes or no)
If you answered no to any of the above 3 questions, this article is for you! You may have heard the new phrase, ‘Sitting is the New Smoking’, but the truth is that sitting may actually be worse for you than smoking. Even if you exercise, if you sit for prolonged periods of time, your health is at serious risk. Why? Our bodies are made to move and sitting for more than two hours a day significantly increases your risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and low back pain. In fact, just after 20 minutes of sitting blood starts to pool in our legs and after 30 minutes of sitting our metabolism slows down by 90%! Scientists have found that two metabolic reactions significantly decline while you sit and suppress your metabolic health. This leads to increased blood fat and blood sugar levels. The good news is that by adding more movement to your day and practicing good posture, you can avoid the negative effects of sitting. Stand up for your health and follow these tips:
We’ve all heard it a billion times by now…
Sit up straight! Stop Slouching! We’ve heard it from our kindergarden teachers and we heard it from our mom’s. For the unlucky ones of us, we heard it from our doctors and chiropractors every time we had to miss work for grueling back pain. And now, we hear it from the media. Posture is everywhere. Offices are investing in standing desks and people are investing in ergonomic chairs. We all know maintaining good posture is important, but why?