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We were meant to MOVE! Posture affects movement and movement affect how your nervous systems functions. If your nervous system isn’t functioning at optimum, then I can guarantee your organs aren’t functioning at optimum as well. Today’s podcast we dive into the 5 surprising things bad posture does to you!
What causes poor posture?
- Shortened muscles
- Shortened fascia
- Inhibited muscles
Idea of central integration
It’s been shown that the joint mechanoreceptors in the spine will cause different parts of the brain to become activated or not. If you have bad posture, the joint receptors will not send the proper input to the brain and thus the brain will not send proper signals to the corresponding organs. Plus, abnormal posture causes your rib cage to close down and decrease your lung capacity and really puts a strain on the rest of your vital organs to function. Above all, abnormal posture will demand more energy just to keep you upright and moving. This will increase fatigue.
5 Surprising Side Effects of Bad posture
- Chronic Headaches: with the advent of electronic devices we’re constantly looking down. This puts extra strain on the posterior muscles of the neck to keep your head from falling forward. Prolonged forward & downward head posture will induce a strain on the muscles which will display as headaches. The sub occipital muscles can pinch the sub occipital nerve
- High Blood Pressure: typical bad posture will result in forward rolling in of the shoulders and rounding of the upper back. This will decrease lung capacity which will lead to decrease in oxygen intake and increase in carbon dioxide buildup in the blood. The kidneys will then have to work harder to buffer the pH in the blood from going too acidic due to the increased carbon dioxide buildup. The kidneys also make hormones that regulate blood pressure, but if it has to work harder to balance blood pH, then it will not be able to regulate blood pressure optimally. Plus there are receptors within the neck that affects blood pressure.http://www.medicaldaily.com/study-slumping-and-slouches-raises-blood-pressure-244680
- Constipation: altered posture alters how your internal organs function. This has a profound effect on how your intestines move food matter through. Bad posture slows the movement of your intestines and can back you up https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1773697/ Important fact with those suffering from IBS
- Fatigue & Weight Gain: the body has to work harder just to keep you upright. Your nervous system wants to maintain a posture that is upright and demands the least amount of muscle activation as possible. The more you deviate from center, the harder the system has to work and thus you expend and require more energy. This means you get tired faster and you crave quick energy…this quick energy is often obtained in the form of high sugar consumption. Then the body puts on more weight which will then alter posture even further. It’s a vicious cycle. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27494342 Upright posture improves fatigue in people with depressive symptoms
- Depression: Studies have shown that posture affects mood (see study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25222091) 74 participants, randomly assigned to either slumped or upright seated posture. Upright participants reported higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood, and lower fear, compared to slumped participants. The slumped participants used more negative emotion words, first-person singular pronouns, sadness words and fewer positive emotion words and also a lower total number of words. Conclusion: adopting an upright posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood and increase positive mood. Reduces self focus…may be a behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress.
What is optimal posture?
- Wall test
- Motion Outdoors Variable Exercises
Latest posts by Dr. Mike Okouchi (see all)
- Episode 59: The Lab Tests you need for optimal health - September 20, 2017
- Episode 58: 5 Surprising Things Bad Posture does to You - September 13, 2017
- Episode 57: All about your Chronotype with Dr. Michael Breus - September 6, 2017