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How long do you sit each day? It might be making you sick.

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By now many of us have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”.  It seems that as our lives become more technologically advanced, there is a greater tendency to be less active.  In today’s blog post we highlight a recent article from the American Posture Institute, which outlines the impact of a sedentary lifestyle and also provides some easy tips to bring more movement back into our day. Learn how changes in your posture can have a very positive impact on your overall health.  Johnston Health & Laser Center offers a postural assessment and programs to help you achieve a healthier life. Best postural correction systems  are available! We can remold your posture & your health where it needs to be.

Learn more about the impacts of prolonged sitting and changes that can make a difference:

 

Slouched Sitting Makes You Sick  (http://americanpostureinstitute.com/slouched-sitting-makes-you-sick-proper-posture-keeps-you-healthy/)

Many modern day workers spend the majority of their time seated.  Researchers have found that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing chronic disease such as various types of cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

Sedentary behaviors are also linked to higher levels of depression in adults. Van Uffelen et al. (2010) conducted a research study evaluating the effects of sitting for more than 7 hours per day and symptoms of depression in women. They found that women who do not exercise and women who are seated for more than 7 hours per day are 47% more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression.

Women who sit for 7 hours per day and do not engage in physical activity are 3 times more likely to have depression than women who sit less than 4 hours per day.

Other research shows that people who are sitting in front of their computers for 5 hours or more per day have an increased risk of developing mental illness, depression, and insomnia. Tetsuya (2003) concluded that mental health and sleep-related symptoms were significantly higher in the research group that spent 5 hours or more in front of a computer screen.

If modern day occupations require prolonged sitting, as a society, how can we preserve our health while performing necessary job related tasks? Vernikos (2005) states that it is not how many hours of sitting that’s bad for you; it is how often you interrupt that sitting position that is good for you. “It’s actually the change in posture that is the most powerful in terms of having a beneficial impact on your health, not the act of standing in and of itself” (Verkikos, 2005).

Although sitting is making you sick, proper posture habits will keep you healthy. Proper posture and frequent posture breaks are associated with better health, more alertness and focused attention, higher levels of productivity, and less fatigue.

5 Habits for Healthy Posture

  • Take Frequent Posture Breaks: Posture breaks offset the force of gravity on your spine and supporting muscles. To perform a “Posture Break,” bring your shoulders and arms back, stick your chest out, and bring your head back with your eyes pointed up to the ceiling. This stretches your anti-gravity muscles and helps you have better seated posture. You can perform a posture break in your chair or standing. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds each hour of your workday.
  • Sit Up Straight: Your spine should have an “S” shaped curvature, not a slouched “C” shape curve. If the spine rounds forward to a “C” shape focus on sitting up straight. If you feel fatigued maintaining proper upright posture, you can place a small cushion behind your lower back that will help to support the lumbar spine upright.
  • Strengthen Your Core: Your “Core” musculature is the muscles that support your lower back and prevent injury when lifting or bending. A strong core is a supported spine; a weak core makes you more susceptible to back pain and injury. To strengthen your core, focus on doing exercises such as planks and side planks to work all regions of your core musculature. Avoid flexion exercises; instead focus on exercises that promote extension.
  • Sit on an Exercise Ball: Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair that lacks spinal support is a great way to improve your posture. While seated on the ball you are engaging your core musculature throughout the day and building postural fitness to support your back and maintain proper posture. It is nearly impossible to slouch while sitting on an exercise ball, with weak posture you risk losing your balance.
  • Design Your Workspace: Design your workspace to support proper posture while sitting. Make sure there is enough room to move around on the exercise ball and keep your most commonly used items with an arm’s reach away. Rotating your spine or reaching forward to grab items repetitively throughout the day can add additional stress to your lower back. Also, position your computer screen at eye level. When it is lower than eye level it is easier to have slouched posture with your neck and shoulders forward because you are looking down for a prolonged period of time.

Inactivity is taking a toll on your health

safe_imageDid you know that Americans spend on average 13 hours per day sitting, and up to 8 hours per night sleeping! That is 21 hours of inactivity each day, 21 hours of flexor dominant posture!

Then of 31% of Americans who go to the gym regularly, many of them are still working their flexor muscles when they do crunches, or chest press, or how about being drawn forward into chest flexion while using a stationary bike.

This is a serious problem that our society is facing, and will continue to face in future generations if you don’t commit to the necessary paradigm shift. We all need to be activating our posterior chain musculature every day, period. If not their health will weaken and movement will become more and more difficult and painful.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of PROPER POSTURE

Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly and efficiently.
Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.

Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
Optimizes breathing and circulation.
Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions (for example an abnormal lateral curvature, or scoliosis).
Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
Improves organ function.
Prevents strain or overuse problems.
Prevents backache, neck pain, and diffuse muscular pain.
Contributes to a good appearance.

POSTURE BREAKS

 Research shows that taking frequent short breaks (micro-breaks) are more effective in preventing aches and pains, than a single longer break in the middle of the day. The purpose of the posture break is to stretch the muscles that become tight from sitting all day.
  • Take a 30 second break every 20 minutes
  • Sit on the front of your chair with good posture of your lower back
  • Open your arms wide and push your chest forward
  • Lean head back for a deeper stretch

There is still so much more to be learned about proper posture and your back health!

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.

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Source – American Posture Institute

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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Sitting is the new smoking…

bLOG TITLEDr. Mercola states that Sitting is the new smoking. About 10,000 studies have now established that chronic sitting is an independent risk factor for poor health and early death. It can also be a significant factor in back, neck, and sciatic pain.

Learn more about the benefits of posture and its effects on your health and pain management in our blog post highlighting Dr. Mercola’s findings:

By Dr. Mercola

Most of our parents drilled into our heads the importance of proper posture; yet modern day life causes us to frequently ignore these great recommendations. What’s worse, many of the posture-correcting strategies our parents taught us turn out to be wrong anyway.

Kathleen Porter, author of Natural Posture for Pain Free Living, is an expert in teaching the principles of posture, and she believes the majority of pain experienced in the world is posture related.

While working as a massage therapist and yoga teacher in 1994, she came across an article written by Jean Couch, in which she discussed and described the skeletal alignment in groups of indigenous people.

Intrigued, Kathleen began studying with Jean, and eventually traveled through Indonesia, Southeast Asia, South America, and northern Portugal, studying the posture of native peoples for herself.

“As I learned from studying them and from Jean, I started incorporating these principles more and more into my own life, and then started teaching this to others.

I’ve written a couple of books. It has just been absolutely transformational,” she says.

“I gave up stretching. I haven’t stretched in close to 20 years, yet I am more flexible and pain-free than when I was working so hard at trying to be that way.”

Read more and full article here

Our mission at the Johnston Health Center is to help you live your best life possible. Everyone has their own health challenges and at JHC we are experts at helping to guide you to better health. You may need our 12 weeks to Better Posture Program, our gentle chiropractic care, Bioflex laser therapy for arthritis or sports injuries, our Stress Relief Therapy Program or a nutritional assessment. We are here to help you with your concerns.
The Johnston Health Center team will Educate you on better health, Inspire you and help you Take Action.
www.johnstonhealthcenter.com

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