365 Ways #28–Drive your way to better posture

#28–It takes as little as one gram of pressure, applied consistently, to move a tooth. So think about this: your head weighs approximately 8% of your body weight. Thus a 150lb person has a head which weighs +/- 12lbs. Ideally, a person should present with between 0-3cm of forward head carriage. Yet, in my postural assessments, I typically find measurements well in excess of twice this acceptable limit.

For every inch the head travels out of ideal alignment, it effectively doubles in weight (as the wt gets farther away from the fulcrum). There are 2.54cm in an inch. So a 150lb person with 5.5cm of FHP has neck muscles which are forced to support a head that effectively weighs 24lbs. An inch more and my poor neck muscles hurt just looking at this guy. Of course, where the head goes, the rest of the kinetic chain will follow. And these compensations are often coupled with pain and dysfunction that can be mirrored as far down as the person’s feet.

How do you fix it? Well, you stretch certain muscles and strengthen others. But you also must address work and home place ergonomics as well as improper or imbalanced training. You may even have to look at nutrition, respiration, and/or hormonal issues. So the solution is more complex than can be written in a short post on a blog. But one place to start for many of you would be simply putting your head on the headrest next time you’re in your car. Try it on your commute tomorrow, and you’ll see how often your noggin isn’t where it’s supposed to be.

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