If your shoulders and back are hunched over while you’re reading this, you’re not alone. Whether you’re a serial sloucher when standing or struggle to remember to relax your neck and shoulders while seated, it’s no secret that maintaining proper posture isn’t an easy habit to form. Most older adults have suffered the consequences of a lifetime of poor posture. Luckily, postural improvement is possible.
Looking Ahead Towards an Upright Future: Tips For Success
Hanging your head in shame over your hunching habits? It’s time for an extreme posture makeover. Without these posture-improving tips and tricks, a swarm of health risks may await you.
Utilize an Upright Walker
While many assistive walking tools require users to hunch over while walking, an upright walker like The Perfect Walker will encourage you to stand tall while moving. Unlike traditional walker models, these walking aids won’t exert undue strain on your wrists or exacerbate existing chronic pain.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch!
By remaining active and performing light stretches that bring your arms above your head, you’ll open your chest and back and keep your spine flexible and elongated.
Wear Comfortable Shoes.
Shoes with high heels or minimal arch support can lead to foot discomfort and encourage slouching.
Flexible and robust core muscles support great posture
Act Before It’s Too Late
As it turns out, your mom was onto something each time she scolded you for not sitting up straight. If you’re not entirely convinced that your posture needs a makeover, consider these ways poor posture can negatively affect your health.
Increased Fall Risk
Each year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us of a harrowing statistic: the leading cause of death in adults 80 years and older is falling. The often fatal nature of falls warrants significant concern, but one of the primary causes of falls is more preventable than one may think. Poor posture distorts the spine, which can worsen your equilibrium and lead to falls caused by poor balance.
Worsened Back Pain
When slouching, extra pressure is placed between the shoulder blades, and the back muscles are activated strenuously. In other words, hunching produces a recipe for back pain and strain.
While poor posture is often associated with pain and discomfort in the neck or back, the digestive system is also not immune to the adverse effects of slouching. Those who remain seated for much of the day are likely to hunch over in a way that compresses their stomach and intestines. When the top half of the body compresses the digestive tract, the digestion process becomes slowed, leading to weight gain and gastrointestinal distress.
What’s more, the increased abdominal pressure caused by slouching can weaken pelvic floor muscles, leading to bladder and bowel incontinence.
Those who fall victim to the pounding and excruciating pain of headaches are rarely surprised to hear that most senior citizens would like to avoid such discomfort at all costs. Maintaining poor posture places extra pressure on your posterior muscles, which may tighten the neck and cause tension headaches or migraines.
This is one burn you don’t want to feel. Since poor posture compresses the stomach, slouching after a meal can cause stomach acid to lurch into the esophagus. The presence of such acid creates a distressing burning sensation in the throat and chest and can lead to long-term struggles with acid reflux.
Before You Go
There’s no denying that poor posture is anything but harmless. Once you begin reaping the benefits of maintaining a confident, relaxed, and healthy posture, you’ll be feeling like you’re ten feet tall.