We have all heard it, “Sit up straight!”, but how important is posture? According to the National Institutes of Health newsletter, News in Health it’s not only important but there are many considerations when it comes to posture. There are static postures such as sitting, standing, and sleeping as well as dynamic postures which are more related to how you position yourself when moving, e.g. walking, bending. Postures are also affected by many things such as age, occupation, health conditions, etc.
The net effect of poor posture is associated with a number of health issues, e.g. neck, shoulder, and back pain, trouble breathing, as well as contributes to limiting activities of daily living like brushing your hair or dressing. There is some evidence that activities like yoga, tai chi, and other classes that encourage body awareness and mindfulness can help to improve posture and consequently improve some of the associated health concerns. It’s important to work with your healthcare provider with changes in posture or physical activity especially if you have a health condition that includes pain, injury, or surgery to name a few. Integrative healthcare providers are often an excellent resource for assistance in the area of posture evaluation and management as they generally have extensive training in this area.