By Dr. Brenda Kingen

“Sit up straight!” “Don’t slouch!”

I’m sure we’ve all heard those admonishing words more than once from our mother when we were growing up. And most of us would roll our eyes and as soon as mom walked away, we’d slump back over in a hunch. Little did you know that there was a reason behind the madness! In fact, mom probably wasn’t aware of all the implications of poor posture herself! But somehow she always seemed to know best.

What is good posture anyway and why is it so important? Posture refers to the body’s alignment and positioning with respect to the ever-present force of gravity. Whether we are standing, sitting or lying down, gravity exerts a force on our joints, ligaments and muscles. Good posture entails distributing the force of gravity through the body so no one structure is overstressed.

As a chiropractor, I learned that posture affects how we walk, run, jump, lift weights, and execute other skills. Because of its many benefits, such as ease of movement, good balance of muscle strength and flexibility, proper positioning of the spine and proper functioning of internal organs, the body feels good and therefore you feel good!

Here are six other reasons good posture is important for your health:

1. Portrays a better, more confident image. Good posture will boost self-confidence. Think of the people around you that you see as confident.
2. Breathing becomes easier and deeper. Notice the difference in your breathing slumped over versus sitting up straight.
3. Improves circulation and digestion. Poor posture can be a contributing factor to several digestive problems from acid reflux to constipation and even hernias.
4. Makes you look slimmer and younger. Good posture can instantly take off 5-10 lbs. in your appearance.
5. Helps your muscles and joints. Good posture helps us keep the spine and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles and ligaments are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis, joint pain, muscle strain/pain, and extremity pain. It also allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore preventing muscle fatigue.
6. Changes your frame of mind. Posture also affects your frame of mind and your frame of mind can affect your posture.

Dr. Brenda Kingen has been helping patients improve their posture for over 26 years. It is the foundation of her practice. You are never too young or old to address your poor posture.

Kingen Chiropractic Wellness Center
2001 S. Hanley Rd., Ste. 220
Brentwood, MO 63144