The effect of technology on our posture and health

Research shows that the average adult is awake for 15 hours and 45 minutes every day and 45 per cent of this time is spent using some form of technology. This proportion is even higher for 16-24 year olds who sit for a lot of the time in an arched forward or slouched position.

I’m sure you can easily picture that typical head poking forward, round shouldered and turtle-like posture, right? But have you ever thought about the impact on your health?

First of all, it affects your breathing. In a bad position, no-one can breathe properly. To be able to completely fill your lungs you have to open your thoracic cage by elevating your ribs and using your diaphragm.

Here’s a simple exercise to help with your breathing: Stand up straight, with shoulders back, head up and take a good, deep breath in. Can you feel how pleasant it is to breathe deeply?

Now, let’s try the opposite: Slouch forward in the turtle-like position and try to take a deep breath… not as effective, is it?

If you don’t have effective breathing, you won’t have good oxygenation of the brain and your nervous system can’t work as it should.

Secondly, bad posture will affect your mood and general state of mind. The turtle-like position is one that we assume when we’re feeling sad or depressed. Spending too long in this position can actually lead to us feeling this way even if we weren’t at first. This theory is known as embodied cognition: the idea that the relationship between our mind and body runs both ways, meaning that our mind influences the way our body reacts and our body influences the way our mind reacts.

Finally, your posture affects the movement of your spine. Spinal movements are a way for your brain to accurately perceive and react to your environment. If for some reason these movements are constrained, your brain won’t be able to appropriately respond to what’s going on around you. This can lead to muscle imbalance and back pain.

Happily, your chiropractor can help you by restoring healthy spine movement, giving appropriate and specific exercises as well as personal posture advice.

So check your posture and get adjusted!

Delphine Sailly – Doctor of Chiropractic