Posture Backed by Science

Pamela M. Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP, FACSM Chief Posture Officer at Upright

Here at Upright, we are passionate about posture. All of us remember being told to sit up straight as children, but probably never realized the powerful impact of posture on our health and wellbeing. There’s now exciting new published research that shows how practicing healthyposture improves your mood, increases your self-confidence, enhances your appearance, decreases neck and back pain, and strengthens your core muscles. 

Here we’ve gathered all the cutting-edge science behind posture and why it is so important. 

WHAT IS Healthy POSTURE?

Mayo Clinic’s Posture Check states that healthy posture can be achieved when your:

  • Head is held over the shoulders
  • Shoulders are back and relaxed
  • The chest is held high
  • The abdomen is pulled towards the spine
  • The tailbone is tucked in
  • Knees are slightly bent
  • Weight is evenly distributed on both feet

BENEFITS OF GOOD POSTURE

Look More Attractive

Who wouldn’t want to appear taller? How about an instant tummy tuck? An upright body makes you look taller and slimmer. Think about it. Slumping and slouching results in a stomach that hangs out and looks much bigger than it actually is. Standing and sitting with a straight, upright posture pulls it all in, giving you the appearance of being up to 2 inches taller and 2 inches slimmer! We call this effect the 2 by 2.

Improve Neck and Back Pain

Many of us suffer from neck and back pain. Sometimes it is caused by an injury or medical condition. More often than not, it is caused by poor posture. Simply correcting our bad posture and becoming upright can improve back and neck pain

Healthy Posture Combats Signs of Aging

One of the most common signs of aging is a decrease in height. This is mainly due to increased kyphosis, or a forward curvature of the upper spine. By standing upright, we can instantly combat this phenomenon and look younger.

Healthy Posture Increase Confidence

We now know the physical benefits of having a healthy posture, but what about the mental benefits? Did you know that sitting up straight can increase your confidence? Sitting upright and sticking the chest out has been shown to increase confidence compared to slouching and looking towards the ground.

Get Positive Body Image with Healthy Posture

We are our own worst critics. Do you tend to avoid mirrors? Having an upright posture changes the way we view ourselves, leading to body image satisfaction

CONSEQUENCES OF BAD POSTURE

Musculoskeletal Pain 

How much time do you spend looking at your smartphone or tablet? Did you know all that time spent slouched over your device contributes to neck, shoulder, and back pain? It can also affect other body parts such as the wrists, hands, and knees. 

Shortened Life Span

As you age, it’s easy to slump and slouch such that your body eventually starts to lean forward and develop an upper back hump, referred to as kyphosis. Researchers have found that people who have significant kyphosis have a higher risk of death from heart disease

Decreased Energy 

Feeling sluggish and tired? Is caffeine not doing the trick? Maybe your decreased energy is due to poor posture. Try walking upright to put a little pep in your step.

Negative Emotion 

Life is stressful. Did you know that your posture can affect how you handle stress? Being in a slouched position can make us less resilient when faced with stress, leading to more negative emotions and word choice compared to those in an upright position. 

Balance Issues

Having a bent over posture brings our center of gravity forward and outside of our base of support. This perturbation of balance makes us more prone to falls, which is a leading cause of mortality in older adults.

Decreased Lung Capacity

Slouched sitting compresses internal organs and negatively impacts their functions. Lung capacity is significantly decreased when we slouch, so sit up straight and expand your chest to breathe with ease.

COMMITMENT TO RESEARCH

Upright’s research studies and education programs are led by an expert team headed by renowned lifestyle medicine scientist Dr. Pam Peeke, and top exercise physiologist Andrew Vetter. This team is responsible for coordinating new research involving Upright devices with leading scientists in the fields of physical therapy, biofeedback, preventative healthcare, rehabilitation, and sports medicine. Working with researchers from around the world, Upright has supported groundbreaking new studies as well as corporate pilots and is making significant contributions to exciting new posture science.

COMPLETED RESEARCH

Clinical Studies:

Corporate Pilots: 

  • Google 
  • Intel
  • Comcast

ONGOING RESEARCH

Clinical Studies:

  • Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)
  • University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)
  • University of California Irvine (Irvine, CA)
  • Ohio University (Athens, OH)
  • Simmons University (Boston, MA)

Corporate Pilots:

  • EHE Health 
  • Equinox

#StayUpright #StayWell

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