We all have a natural curve to our upper back or Thoracic spine. As we age, it is not unusual to see people develop an increased rounding of their upper back. This comes in part from daily routines that may involve sitting at a desk or a computer for many hours, a sedentary lifestyle and activities like yard work and caring for a young family take their toll on our posture over time.
As we age our back muscles become weak and if this combines with decreasing bone density, spinal fractures may result, greatly increasing the rounding of our upper back. The more we bend or slouch forward, more pressure is put on the front of our Thoracic Vertebrae, increasing the risk of fracture.
Posture Training may prevent the development of a “humped” or rounded back and improve your posture. Posture training emphasizes neck, back, and shoulder position, ensuring proper alignment of the spine. As the back muscles become stronger, good posture becomes easier to maintain.
Posture Training is inherent in all of the exercises we perform in the Fit for Life class. Every exercise requires us to maintain a tall spine and an engaged core to support our body through the movement. In addition, Spinal Unloading exercises and Back Extensor exercises are often included in our program to strengthen the spinal erector muscles and improve our posture. See the blog post from this past May for more on these exercises.
As we go about our daily routine we should be conscious of our posture and do our best to correct ourselves. When we are lifting and moving about in our daily lives we need to remember to maintain our “Tall” spines. Routinely performing Spinal Unloading and Back Extensor exercises should be part of our morning and nighttime routines. Spending 3 – 5 minutes daily on these exercises is part of the recommendations of Osteoporosis Canada.