Bad Form = Bad Posture

According to the National Institute of Health, people typically lose about 1 cm of stature every 10 years after age 40. Rounding of the upper back, lower back pain and a forward head position are the most typical age related posture concerns seen by Dana Davis, a certified teacher of the Balance Posture Method in her practice at Sonoma Body Balance in California. Sitting, standing, and bending incorrectly don't just add years to your appearance, but take a physical toll as well.

"When we sit or stand with our bones misaligned, our muscles work overtime and it weakens our joints," says Davis. "Good posture helps you look healthy, stay strong and flexible, eliminate and avoid back pain, increase energy, maintain your mobility and feel more relaxed."

When seated, position yourself on your "sit bones" (the bony part of your butt that you feel when you sit on a firm surface), Davis advises. When standing, draw your chin in to look at your ankles, let your weight move back into your heels, take each shoulder back and down and back your head up without lifting your chin too high. When bending, bow from your hip joints, not your waist, she says.

Christine Northrup, M.D says, "alignment problems are far more common in industrialized Western countries from sitting hunched over computers and desks, ” as well as excess of gaming with children of this generation. She suggests clasping your hands behind your back, lengthening your arms and stretching hands downward and opening your chest forward and breathing deeply to reset posture every hour.

Susan Arruda