Science of AiraWear

One amplifier of back pain: bad posture

Guess what’s the number 1 thriving environment for bad posture to grow?

Hunching in front of a screen all day. That’s what. The worst thing is that we don’t realize it when we adopt bad posture. Here’s how it usually happens.

We’re seated for hours, engrossed with work or whatever we do on the computer. [1] We lean our necks close to the screen.

Our shoulders pull forward.

Hips tilted inward.

Lower spines take more weight than they should.

Entire bodies. Out of natural alignment.

It doesn’t help that we do the same thing when using our smartphones. We don’t bring our phones to eye level somehow – a lack of privacy perhaps. Instead, we bend our necks over. Head and phone are both parallel to the ground.

Over time, we adopt poor posture out of habit. And our muscles tense up in an awkward position. Gradually, poor posture registers as “normal posture” in our brains.

It’s noted that with bad posture, people often complain they experience back pain. And it’s not surprising they come hand in hand. The real problem is, poor posture exacerbates any back pain we might already have. [2]

What is a healthy or good posture

First, what’s posture?

It simply means how your relative position of your body segments is – either during rest or activity.

As defined by the Posture Committee of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery… Healthy posture is present when your skeletal structure is in a state of balance that protects the supporting structures against injury or progressive deformity.

Loosely translated, your body should be in positions where your muscles and joints aren’t strained or prone to injury – whether long term or short term.

But it should also be noted – and debunked even: there’s NO one ideal posture to maintain all day while sitting. [2], [3]

An upright position is as good as maintaining a neutral posture. But adopting a neutral posture is only part of the bigger picture.

Healthy posture should no longer be seen as a static postion. More and more practitioners encourage us to see posture as a dynamic activity. There’s even a correlation between the presence of back pain and longer, uninterrupted periods of sitting or standing. [4], [5]

When one’s trunk (upper body) is bent forward for prolonged periods of time, there’s a good chance that low back pain will follow. [6]

The common advice we hear? Don’t stay in one position for more than 30 minutes long.

How good posture overcomes back pain

We know that individuals without low back pain were less likely to adopt a slumped spinal posture than those who suffer from low back pain. [5]

A good posture can help to mitigate unnecessary or harmful body strains.

Having a good posture lessens the burden on your supporting structure – the muscles and joints. Just as a bad or awkward posture strains your body parts unnaturally (especially for prolonged periods of time)…

With a healthy posture, your body is able to function closer to its natural state. You’re less likely to constrict your blood vessels and nerves too.

A good posture has other winning points too

A healthy posture isn’t just filled with physical benefits. It pervades into different corners of your life.

The way you carry yourself affects your confidence. Studies show that individuals who adopted upright, expansive positions were able to show themselves as and feel more powerful. Power poses can come in the form of squared shoulders, having one’s chest pushed out, with their chins tilted up. In short, a healthy posture can influence you to feel more confident. [7]

Not only that, adopting an upright posture can improve your general mood AND the positivity of your thoughts. [8], [9]

You also develop a firmer core. When you’re adopting upright positions, your lower back and your abdominal muscles are doing work. At the same time, your spine no longer takes the bulk of the burden (of your weight).

A smart posture system for a back pain-free life

We have a better idea of what good posture is. But we know we won’t stick to the routine.

How do we overcome this obstacle? How do we free up your waking hours from back pain?

To overcome bad posture habits, we’ve developed an active posture correction system. Whenever you slouch… the jacket physically pushes you so you’re reminded to sit in a healthy posture.

Interested in AiraWear? Join our Waiting List to secure your spot in line to order your AiraWear.

References

[1] Parry, Sharon, and Leon Straker. “The Contribution of Office Work to Sedentary Behaviour Associated Risk.” BMC Public Health 13.1 (2013): n. pag. Web.

[2] Taylor, William R., Tobias Consmüller, and Antonius Rohlmann. “A Novel System for the Dynamic Assessment of Back Shape.” Medical Engineering & Physics 32.9 (2010): 1080-083. Web.

[3] Pynt, Jenny, Joy Higgs, and Martin Mackey. “Seeking the Optimal Posture of the Seated Lumbar Spine.” Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 17.1 (2001): 5-21. Web.

[4] Karakolis, Thomas, Jeff Barrett, and Jack P. Callaghan. “A Comparison of Trunk Biomechanics, Musculoskeletal Discomfort and Productivity during Simulated Sit-stand Office Work.” Ergonomics 59.10 (2016): 1275-287. Web.

[5] Womersley, Lauren, and Stephen May. “Sitting Posture of Subjects With Postural Backache.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 29.3 (2006): 213-18. Web.

[6] Sukadarin et al (2016) Postural assessment in pen-and-paper-based observational methods and their assocaited health effects: a review. International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics 22(3): 389-398

[7] Briñol, Pablo, Richard E. Petty, and Benjamin Wagner. “Body Posture Effects on Self-evaluation: A Self-validation Approach.” European Journal of Social Psychology 39.6 (2009): 1053-064. Web.

[8] Wilkes et al (2016) Upright posture improves affect and fatigue in people with depressive symptoms. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry 54: 143-149

[9] Veenstra et al (2016) Embodied mood regulation: the impact of body posture on mood recovery, negative thoughts, and mood-congruent recall. Cognition and Emotion 14: 1-16