Good posture is not only aesthetically pleasing, it's critical to good health. Most people are well aware of the fact that poor posture will lead to back pain and neck pain, but beyond that most people just think it's important because it looks better. Posture affects immune function, digestion, your mood, and basically every other function of your body. This is true because of the neurology of the stress response.



Understand how your stress is magnified by poor posture

Your stress response is partially managed by the sympathetic nervous system. Each organ system in your body has two distinct sets of nerves that control it. One if the Sympathetic (Fight or Flight) and the other is the Parasympathetic (Rest and Digest). When the sympathetic system is activated, the body thinks that you're in a fight for your life and reacts accordingly. This is a good thing in spurts, but is destructive when it is a chronic state. The nerves of the Sympathetic Nervous system leave the spine between the First Thoracic Vertebrae (T1) and the Second Lumbar Vertebrae (L2). When you have poor posture these nerve fibers are stretched physically a little bit. When you change the physical state of a nerve fiber in any way an impulse is initiated that stimulates whatever that nerve fiber is associated with. So when you have poor posture your sympathetic nervous system is constantly being activated at least a little bit.