Standing up straight with good posture can help ease pain. Moreover, having an aligned back is not only an element of what great posture looks like, but is important for balance.
Posture is a constant dance between body position, flexibility, balance, and core strength. When any of these break down – or tighten up – your alignment is compromised and the body is more prone to injury. In contrast, poor posture, whether the body is still or in motion, causes pain due to increased stress and force on muscles ligaments and joints.
Research says this is important to our health. For example, back pain, neck pain, arthritis, joint problems and increased risk of falls have been linked to poor body mechanics.
A study in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society found that people who hunched over had a mortality rate that was 1.44 times higher than those with better posture. So besides avoiding a host of painful problems, they actually lived longer!
You can get insight on how strong your balance is by doing a simple balance test.
- Stand upright with your hands by your sides
- Lift your right knee up until your thigh is parallel with the floor
- Stand still for 30 seconds
If you were able to stand peacefully, with your arms by your sides, without leaning, then congratulations. Your balance tests as pretty great! However, if you had to drop a toe down for a moment and realign, if your hands or arms were flailing around, or if you had to grab a wall to keep from losing your balance, you have work to do.
We recommend the 7 Steps to Strong Posture program to incrementally address balance, alignment and motion issues to improve your posture the right way.
Read more on this article Straighten Up that appeared in Bottom Line with Dr. Steven Weiniger, author of Stand Taller Live Longer: Posture & Anti Aging Strategy.