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The ABCs of Posture

There is a great deal of information reading posture and the impact it has on your overall health.  The American Posture Institute breaks down this information into three basic elements. Read through the ABCs of Posture in their article.

THE ABC’S OF POSTURE from the American Posture Institute

ALIGNMENT

posture chart side (2)Posture exercises, when incorporated as a lifestyle habit, break the pain cycle and create a cycle of coordinated, full ranges of motion. When a person presents with misalignments of the spinal column, the muscles naturally contract and become more rigid to compensate for these misalignments. This is felt as tightness at the base of the neck and shoulders and stiffness of the low back. To correct muscle dysfunction long-term, it is important to first re-align the spine, then identify the weak and chronically strained musculature. Once the muscular dysfunction patterns are identified, a specific postural rehabilitation protocol can be utilized to re-educate the muscle physiology. Many exercises in the program are specifically designed to increase core strength and core stability to improve posture.

BALANCE

leg 2 (2)The position in which we balance our body to stay erect has a significant effect on our posture. If the spine is not in proper alignment, people generally feel less stable or experience discomfort balancing their body with the proper posture. For example, a person with a hip misalignment will naturally shift their center of gravity to one hip, accentuating the misalignment.

Postural consciousness during daily activities draws attention to proper posture and coordination. By completing a postural corrective program, incorporating chiropractic and postural rehabilitation, it has been demonstrated to increase balance and coordination, and reduce the chance of falling by 55% in the elderly.

CORE CONTROL

 exercise 1 (2)Posture exercises, when incorporated as a lifestyle habit, break the pain cycle and create a cycle of coordinated, full ranges of motion. When a person presents with misalignments of the spinal column, the muscles naturally contract and become more rigid to compensate for these misalignments. This is felt as tightness at the base of the neck and shoulders and stiffness of the low back.

To correct muscle dysfunction long-term, it is important to first re-align the spine, then identify the weak and chronically strained musculature. Once the muscular dysfunction patterns are identified, a specific postural rehabilitation protocol can be utilized to re-educate the muscle physiology. Many exercises in the program are specifically designed to increase core strength and core stability to improve posture.

At Johnston Health Center you health is of paramount importance to us.  Sign up for a free consultation and we can assess your posture and get you back on track to healthy living!  Simply fill out the form here or contact us at 705-728-3070 in Barrie or 705-476-9111.

Get Educated! Get Inspired! Take Action!

Good Posture and Better Health

Anne Harding from www.health.com suggests that good posture will do more to keep you looking youthful as the years go by than a face-lift or Botox. And the benefits of maintaining your bone health are much more than skin-deep.  So many of our recent posts have outlined the benefits of good posture and the positive impact that it has on your overall health and happiness.

Today, we share with you another article on the topic from www.health.com.  Anne Harding out lines the top 10 things that you can do to improve your posture.  Some of her suggestions are not complex, yet a great reminder that EVERY little bit helps…read further HERE

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At Johnston Health Center you health is of paramount importance to us.  Sign up for a free consultation and we can assess your posture and get you back on track to healthy living!  Simply fill out the form here or contact us at 705-728-3070 in Barrie or 705-476-9111.

Get Educated! Get Inspired! Take Action!

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If You are Happy and You Know it…Sit up Straight!

Fowler&Semi-Fowler_01It sounds simple doesn’t it?  Sit up straight for a happier life!
Just think about this for a moment.  When you take a deep breath and sit up straight, how do you feel?

Better right?  Well, Dr. Merocola investigates this theory in a little more detail in an article entitled “Slouching Makes You Sad!”

In this article, Dr. Mercola shares what many of us have been suspecting – posture can effect your mood.

Read his article in its entirety here.

But even with this information in hand, Dr. Mercola goes onto say that even with the proper posture, too much sitting is still devastating to your health.  If you have read the remainder of his article, you will know that he encourages everyone to try and take AT least 10,000 steps in a day for a healthy lifestyle.

An informed patient makes wise choices about their well-being and health. We make it our duty to ensure you know everything you need to know about treatments and your body. It all starts with wellness programs or posture programs  that we will construct together. With the use of your health history and an examination from us, we can specify the type of treatment you need to prevent any further discomfort and pain. Our goal is to find the cause and to correct the problem so you can start feeling well and living life to the fullest again.

For more information, or to book a free consultation, please sign up here or contact the office at (705) 728-3070

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erin and will

 

 

Time for a Workplace MakeOver – Here is Why…

Give your workspace an ergonomic makeover and reap the benefits of better posture, better productivity, and less pain and discomfort at work. A recent poll determined that 86% of employees that work at a desk job were uncomfortable during work.

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The research is overwhelmingly in favor of the implementation of postural ergonomic programs in the workplace and your life space to improve health and vitality while preventing common musculoskeletal injuries. According to OSHA, poor posture at work results in 34% of all lost workday injuries and illnesses.

From the administrative perspective, research has repeatedly shown us that office ergonomics can improve worker productivity and wellbeing. A poll among employees determined that workers would be more pleasant on the job, more productive, and less stressed if their workspace design was ergonomically correct.

What many employees and employers may not know, is that they are actually putting their bodies at risk for early onset degeneration if they don’t take action to make their workspace a safe postural environment.

Your body is simply not designed to sit in the average workspace. The long-term benefits of proper posture and ergonomics demonstrate a significant return on investment in terms of financial gains and health benefits.

If you are like the majority of employees, your posture at work needs a makeover. Consider your workspace design and how you can make it more ergonomically efficient and comfortable for your body’s needs.

Fix Your Workspace in 3 Simple Steps

Sit tall and look straight ahead: By adjusting the level of your computer screen or laptop you can literally change your natural posture in an instant. The top of your computer screen should be eye level, allowing you to look forward comfortably as you work instead of looking down. By looking down for long periods of time, this creates excess tension on the muscles of the cervical spine and the shoulders. Over time, this creates a postural distortion pattern of the head, neck, and shoulders. To raise your computer monitor or laptop you can buy a lifter to adjust the height, or simply place a book underneath it.

Out with the old chair, and in with the exercise ball: Did you know that when you are in a seated position you increase the pressure in the lower back by about 1.7 times your body weight? And this is when you sit properly, if you slouch that pressure increases further. The spine is generally strong enough to tolerate the pressure of a slouched spine for about 20 minutes, before the vertebral discs start to absorb the pressure.

You may notice your back becoming stiffer throughout the course of the day to compensate for this pressure. Over time this can cause serious spinal degeneration with associated symptoms such as chronic back pain, herniated spinal discs, and sciatica.

To avoid weakening your lower back at work get rid of that old office chair and replace it with an exercise ball. Normal chairs make it difficult to sit upright with a straight spine. When sitting on an exercise ball proper posture comes naturally. Due to the design of the ball, you must engage and activate your core musculature while seated. This is highly beneficial as the core muscles support the lumbar spine.

The Keyboard Solution: Another common complaint among employees who work at a desk job is pain in their wrists and elbows, eventually leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. The solution to preventing this from happening to you is to consider the position in which your keyboard is placed.

If you are flexing your wrists all day everyday, this is causing serious strain to the ligaments, joints, muscles, and nerves of the forearm and hands. To correct this problem, position your keyboard in front of you- not too far away. You want to be able to keep your elbows at a comfortable 90-degree angle. The height of the desk should be at a height where you can place your hands flat on the keyboard and type in this manner. You want to avoid bending your wrists back and typing with your forearms flexed.

For more information on proper posture or to book a consultation for posture assessment, please contact our office or book a free consultation here.

Get Educated! Get Inspired! Take Action!

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Source – http://www.americanpostureinstitute.com/productive-posture-at-work-in-3-simple-steps/

Better Posture- Healthier Children

Proper posture plays a fundamental role in the anatomical development of children from a young age. Posture refers to the body’s alignment and positioning with respect to the ever-present force of gravity. The American Posture Institute outlines the benefits of proper posture for our children.  Maybe our parents were right…”Sit up Straight” they might have been on to something.

Read through their recent article on proper posture, and their tips for what proper posture really looks like.

Get Educated! Get Inspired! And share the gift of good health with your family!

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Family walking on cliffside path holding hands and smiling

 

“Sit up straight, don’t slouch!” A common phrase parents tell their children. Parents recognize the importance of having good posture, but do they actually understand why it is so important for their children?

Proper posture plays a fundamental role in the anatomical development of children from a young age. 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. When the body is in proper alignment, the bones, not the muscles support our weight, reducing overall effort and strain.

Think about it, the first thing you notice about people is not their eyes, not their hair, not even their clothes. It’s their posture. Yet looks aren’t the best reason to improve your posture. Health is. What begins as merely a visual posture imbalance can lead to spinal degeneration, muscular dysfunction patterns, and chronic pain if not corrected.

What does proper posture look like? The spine should be straight with contracted abdominal muscles to support the lower back. The shoulders and the head are pulled back (it is optimal to have the ear and shoulder in alignment), and equal weight is distributed over both of the hips and feet.

Children with proper posture grow up to be healthier adults. Proper postural habits from a young age will help to prevent common postural distortion patterns that kids will otherwise experience throughout their stages of developmental.

A recent study was conducted to evaluate the prevalence of spinal degeneration in young children. The study concluded that children as young as 10 years old are demonstrating visual spinal degeneration on diagnostic imaging.

Dr. Francis Smith, who led the research, comments, “We have found some spinal degeneration much earlier than we would have suspected… Proactive measures should be taken early in life, even before puberty. ”

Postural imbalances lead to spinal degeneration, which over a lifetime can cause physical symptoms such as neck pain, back pain, fatigue, and headaches. To prevent postural distortion patterns it is important to adopt good postural habits and lead a balanced lifestyle.

Children begin learning postural habits that will “shape” their lives from a young age. When they begin attending school they are introduced to a new environment and develop habits that will stay with them for many years. Common postural faults which children develop starting at about the age of 6 years old include the following:

  • Carrying heavy backpacks to school everyday
  • Sitting at their school desks for prolonged periods of time without taking posture breaks
  • Slumping their head and shoulders forward and rounding their upper back while reading or doing homework
  • Sitting in front of a TV or playing video games with slumped posture

Help your child have better postural habits and save them from a future of back pain and other preventable disorders. As children are developing new habits why not simultaneously teach them proper postural habits? If you aren’t sure where to begin, start by implementing these steps!

Posture Hygiene for Kids

  • Every child should have a postural examination by the age of 6, serving as a benchmark for subsequent postural analyses.
  • Children should then undergo a postural analysis at least once per year for early detection of postural distortions or signs of scoliosis.
  • Children in school should take frequent posture breaks where they get up and stretch their spine (this also helps them stay focused on their school work).
  • Teach your child the “Postural ABCs” so they can easily remember the components of proper posture. “A” is for alignment of the spine, “B” is for balance, and “C” is for core control.
  • Children should not carry backpacks that exceed 10% of their body weight, and cause stress to the spine and back muscles.
  • Limit the amount of time your child is allowed to watch TV and play video games. Set a time limit on TV time; then go enjoy invigorating activities as a family.
  • Lead by example and encouraging your child to have proper posture by having good posture yourself!

Make the decision to improve the posture and the health of your family today! You can monitor your child’s development with regular at-home posture checks and yearly posture evaluations.

How to Perform an At-Home Posture Check
To detect for misalignments and postural abnormalities, perform an at-home postural exam of your child. Stand behind them (kneel down if necessary so you are eye level with their spine). Evaluate if the shoulders and the scapulae are even, then look at the hips, are the hips the same height? Now evaluate their posture from the side. The ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle should all be in alignment. If the head or abdomen juts forward it causes additional stress to the neck and back. Now from the font see if both of their feet are pointed forward and be sure that the knees are not turned in or out.

Yearly Posture Evaluations
All children, starting at the age of 6 years old should have a posture evaluation with posture imaging done. To schedule a yearly posture evaluation for your child contact Johnston Health Center in Barrie or NorthBay – www.johnstonhealthcenter.com or book your free consultation here.

 

Source – http://www.americanpostureinstitute.com/better-posture-for-healthier-children/