According to a recent survey, 90 per cent of us suffer from posture-related aches and pains. So how can you shake off your slump and bring your body back into alignment?…
According to a recent survey, 90 percent of us suffer from posture-related aches and pains. So how can you shake off your slump and bring your body back into alignment? Lucy Dimbylow investigates
Have you ever left the office at the end of a long day with stiff shoulders and a thumping headache? Or ended up walking home barefoot after a night out, crippled by your killer heels? Well, you’re not alone. According to research by MBT Physiological Footwear, 90 per cent of us suffer from posture-related aches and pains, and modern living is largely to blame.
“We’re seeing an epidemic of poor posture, thanks to our sedentary lifestyles,” explains chartered physiotherapist Sammy Margo. “Our bodies are designed to move, but instead, we spend most of our time sitting down, at work, in the car or in front of the TV.” And with research by the British Chiropractic Association showing that a third of us spend over 15 hours a day seated, it’s no wonder we’re feeling the strain.
Even if you’re not chained to a desk, chances are your posture is less than perfect. Carrying a child on one hip, carting your life around in your handbag, and even wearing the wrong size bra can all affect the way you carry yourself. So, too, can your footwear – and skyscraper heels aren’t the only culprits.
“Women often think flats are better for their backs than high heels, but flip flops and Ugg-type boots can be just as bad,” says Sammy.
One in three people suffers back and neck pain on a daily basis, but poor posture can also cause many less obvious symptoms, including headaches, joint pain and weakness, lethargy, breathlessness and anxiety. “It can even affect your digestive system, which is effectively squashed if you’re not sitting or standing straight,” Sammy adds. Your confidence can also suffer, with 42 per cent of people so self-conscious that they’ll only undress in the dark, according to MBT’s research.
Nevertheless, many of us bury our heads in the sand. “Most people don’t seek help until they’re experiencing pain,” explains chiropractor Tim Hutchful. “But poor posture has a cumulative effect. Even if you’re not aware of a problem now, you could be storing up trouble for 10 years’ time – and the last straw could be something as simple as bending over to tie your shoelaces.”
The good news is that it’s never too late to correct your posture. So how can you shake off your slump and rediscover the art of walking tall?