Posture is a Strong Predictor of Early Mortality

Picture of Dr. Daniel Gonzalez: Family Health Chiropractic
Dr. Daniel Gonzalez, D.C.

It is unrealistic to think that everyone is going to get rid of their handheld devices or stop texting and sitting altogether.

It is also proven that these daily habits and routines are contributing to the development of poor posture and positioning. According to a 20 year study, there is a strong correlation between hyperkyphotic posture and mortality [1].

Researchers took 4,200 men aged 40-59 and divided them into 4 groups by how much height they lost (due to poor posture and spine positioning) over 20 years. Men who lost the most height had a much greater risk of dying as compared to those losing less. The authors speculated that the physical restriction of the lungs and abdominal organs caused significantly greater risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and respiratory mortality.

image of man standing straight and hunched over; signifying poor posture

Poor posture and balance problems are often associated with aging and commonly accepted as “part of getting old” and therefore treatable. This is simply not true. The problem is that there is little awareness or promotion for the significant improvements in posture and benefits of incorporating daily spine hygiene exercises.

What are some things you can start doing today to reverse the harmful effects of poor posture?

Spine hygiene consists of a daily practice of stretches and exercises that can help keep the spine healthy, and that can arrest any lurking alignment problems.

Most of the exercises consist of stretches and slow, precise movements, such as moving the neck slowly from side-to-side to stretch its muscles. At no time should pain be experienced while doing these exercises.

Some of the exercises that are practiced for better spine hygiene include:

  • Neck Flexion (looking down)
  • Neck Extension (looking up)
  • Neck Rotation (turning left and right)
  • Neck Side Bending
  • Trunk or Torso twists
  • Lumbar Flexion (bending down at the waist)
  • Lumbar Extension (bending backwards)
  • Lumbar Side Bending

As simple as these exercises may seem, practicing daily spine hygiene can change your life by keeping you more flexible and even helping to prevent early death.

[1]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17159023

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