Exhibiting good posture is pleasing to the eyes and speaks volumes about a person. Unfortunately, good posture has become very rare and many factors contribute to this epidemic pattern. Increased amounts of time spent on phones and computers for males and females of all ages plays a huge role in the poor posture epidemic. This study evaluated the effects of poor posture and its influence on whole body health and disease. The findings are shocking and help describe why awareness and action steps to improve spinal and postural health are necessary in today’s high-tech culture.
A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society called “Hyperkyphotic Posture Predicts Mortality in Older Community‐Dwelling Men and Women: a prospective study”, looked at the most popular poor posture and the effects it has on health. This posture is described by rounded back, hunched shoulders and a forward leaning head which is commonly referred to as a hyper-kyphotic posture. There were 1,353 participants in this study who had measurements of this posture. Subjects were followed for an average of 4.2 years, with mortality and cause of death confirmed using death certificates. In age and sex-adjusted analyses, those with this poor posture had a 1.44 greater rate of mortality (44%). In the cause-specific mortality analyses, hyper-kyphotic posture was specifically associated with an increased rate of death due to atherosclerosis. For deaths due to atherosclerosis, participants with hyper-kyphotic posture had a significant 2.4 times greater rate of death. Even at a mild degree of hyper-kyphotic posture, there was a clear rate of greater mortality.
Everyone is at risk and most people experience poor posture at varying degrees throughout life. The question to be asked is not “if” but “when” the effects of poor posture will show up. One of the biggest challenges regarding poor posture is that the majority will relegate it down to more of a simple cosmetic appearance issue, not one that can negatively influence brain and organ health. But according to this study and many of its kind, the connection between poor posture and chronic disease processes must be made known. Regular chiropractic adjustments help change the spine and posture as it relates to function, and more people deserve to know about and experience the postural benefits chiropractic care can offer.