Simple posture mechanics dictates that people will lose height as they age. However, did you know your life can get shorter as you get shorter?
Posture Mechanics Research
According to a recent 20-year study, there is a strong correlation between losing height and mortality.
Researchers at the University of London divided 4,200 men aged 40-59 into 4 groups by how much height they lost over 20 years. Men who lost the most height had a much greater risk of dying as compared to those losing less. Study authors speculated that the physical restriction of the lungs and abdominal organs caused significantly greater risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and respirator mortality.
In other words, Stand Taller to Live Longer
Additionally, the unbalanced bio-mechanical stress of asymmetric posture bio mechanics molds muscles and ligaments. Over time the bones themselves actually bend and collapse. Osteoporosis, a loss of bone calcium common in post-menopausal women, is commonly pointed to as a cause of compression fractures and the “dowager’s hump”. (Dowagers Hump is a postural biomechanical failure, leading to loss of height.)
Harvard Medical School Adviser recently asserted that despite the bone-weakening effects of osteoporosis. “Some research suggests that vertebral fractures have been overrated as a cause of height loss and hunching. Another big reason may simply be bad posture.”
There is strong evidence that posture exercise helps prevent stooped posture. Moreover, it can strengthen balance to prevent falls and fractures. While these are huge benefits, you’ll find little media focus on addressing postural issues.
Posture and Balance Problems
Hunching over and balance problems are normally associated with aging. You’ll find they are commonly accepted as “part of getting old” and therefore are not treated. This is not necessarily true. Unlike the ads for osteoporosis drugs paid for by pharmaceutical companies, there are no advertising campaigns promoting regular StrongPosture® exercises. But, we’ve seen significant improvements in posture and reduction of fractures in post-menopausal women.
Ironically, another reason to keep your body moving as age, and why posture-related problems are a growing epidemic in seniors, is that as healthcare improves in other areas people are living longer. Ten years ago, a person who suffered a heart attack at age 65 would have died. Now they might live another twenty years! However, they are at greater risk of posture and joint degeneration. The longer people live, the more time the accumulated consequences of postural “sins of their youth” have to catch up with them.
Posture and motion don’t only affect how long you live, but also how well you live. Alignment and bio-mechanically related back problems are the #3 reason for all doctor visits. While the common cold and other respiratory infections are #1 and #2.
Compelling Posture Mechanics Stats
Consider these numbers:
- 80 percent of Americans are impacted by back pain at some point in their lives.
- 65 million Americans suffer back pain every year!
- Musculoskeletal conditions, including arthritis, low back pain, and repetitive motion strain, are the leading cause of missing work.
- 83% of Americans rely on over-the-counter pain relievers.
- 2/3 of the people who have experienced back pain can expect an episode each year.
- Low back pain is the most common cause of disability for people under age 45. This causes lost productivity in addition to a diminished enjoyment of life and the ability to perform normal daily activities.
Ironically, the desire for a permanent solution leads many people suffering bio-mechanical problems to radical spinal surgery, despite its far-less-than-enviable record. This desire for a quick, permanent fix can lead to permanent post-surgical tissue adhesions and scars, and FBSS (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome).
Smart Solution for a Mechanical Problem
A far more intelligent solution is changing how you move and use your body. In other words, change your posture mechanics. 10 minutes a day of StrongPosture® exercise can help you become posture aware. You’ll literally retrain how your body moves. Reprogramming your “normal” posture takes a consistent effort. But, soon you’ll have a habit of daily StrongPosture® exercise.
No matter how old you are, or how active, investing a few minutes a day to focus on Balance, Alignment, and Motion will help strengthen your body’s bio-mechanics in everything you do!