Posture and Body Systems
We’ve all seen that strikingly well postured person walking around town and wished we were them. They might be having a great day, could have been muscularly training this posture, or both! Well then, let’s talk about how to achieve that for yourself and what it means for your overall health to improve your posture.
Posture is directly related to all the 11 body systems; which includes, the circulatory, digestive, endocrine, exocrine, immune, muscular, nervous, excretory, reproductive, respiratory, and skeletal systems. In relation to the endocrine and nervous systems, facilitating a more advantageous posture will help promote proper body system function in order to regulate hormones and maintain a sense of balance within the mind-body connection. In addition, when referring to the musculo-skeletal system, training the muscles to hold the better posture requires proper form and consistency.
Think of your posture as the driver for the way your body systems function. For example, if your shoulders are rounded forward, your slumped over, your pelvis is tucked underneath you, and your head is forward, how well do you think your lungs are able to function to allow you to breathe properly? Not very well.. Most individuals with the posture described tend to have frequent headaches, fatigue, trouble breathing, and trouble sleeping. Their lungs can function however the body is not in the right position to allow them to do so. Here’s another example, your torso is twisted to the right, your left shoulder is all the up by your ear, and your pelvis tilted forward so your lower back is now compressed. The digestive system in this case is going to have trouble processing anything you ingest. This is due to the fact that your spine is twisting, which causes your digestive organs to twist and possibly constrict their flow. Additionally, you probably have searing lower back pain given your spine is compressed and twisted. These are just a couple ways in which posture affects your overall health and well being.
Hopefully we didn’t lose you in the explanation above, but knowing how your body functions musculo-skeletally has a DIRECT effect on what goes on internally is an important connection to make. A few options to combat these postural deviations and habits we all have, is to train our muscles to hold our bodies in the right position so we can function in our most optimal way. This can be done by doing yoga/mobility classes, weight lifting with proper form, and by practicing self care. You can also seek a more individualized approach.
Veenstra, Lotte, et al. “Embodied Mood Regulation: the Impact of Body Posture on Mood Recovery, Negative Thoughts, and Mood-Congruent Recall.” Cognition and Emotion, 2016, pp. 1–16., doi:10.1080/02699931.2016.1225003.