Improve this Posture to Reduce Stress in your Body.

Stress effects posture and posture effects stress. In this blog we are exploring ways that will help you improve posture to reduce stress on the body. It’s a vicious cycle that can be hard to break. When we are stressed our body goes into a fight or flight response. Our shoulders become rounded, head drops forward – this action is triggered in the brain.

Postural deviation in the stress response can itself be the stressor. It can be a continual loop in the body, continually firing unless intelligent targeted measures are put in place. Poor posture activates the stress centre and neurone called the Red Nucleus which controls flexion of the arms and legs. Improving posture to improve stress in the body is the focus.

Rounded shoulders, reduces oxygenation of the body by compromising the lung capacity. Forward head posture dramatically increases the weight of the head on the cervical spine. In a neutral stance, the head weighs 5-6 kg. At:

15 degrees flexion- head weighs 12.3kg

30 degrees- 18.2kg

45 degrees- 22.3kg

60 degrees- 27.3kg

How can we break the stress and posture cycle?

Firstly acknowledge the stress and then work out the cause. What can be put in place to help deal with stress?

Next step is Posture Correction 

The wrong posture tells the brain we are tense and in a state of stress. CLICK HERE to find out how you can determine if your posture is good or not.

Here is what you can do:

1. Set up work desk ergonomically

– Sit stand desk, make sure to use a monitor that can be adjusted and a seperate keyboard

– Neutral head posture, aim to not drop head forward or look down

Move around and change posture every 1/2 hr

2. Posture Pole

– work up to 15 minutes per day.

This semi circle device (substitute a rolled up towel) helps to open up chest area and reduces wind up in the middle back. Aligns head in neutral posture.

3. Hook stretch

Imagine a hook in your chest bone attached to a helium balloon. This hook is pulling your chest up and out. A more upright posture allows for bette lung capacity.

4. Stretching and exercises

Working on strengthening extensor muscles in the back is important.. Tense the extensor muscles between your shoulder blades and stretch the muscles in the front of the chest.

Watch the video for the some mid back extensor training:

– Theraband resistance exercises

– Supermans

– Scapula angels

Stretching the following areas to further assist you:

– Pec muscles

– Hamstrings CLICK HERE for to find out how

– Burger relief position

– belly breathing

Chiropractic adjustments

Spinal function is very important when working on posture. It ensures optimal neurological function, transmission between brain and body, optimising activation of the higher cortex of the brain. A proper functioning spine allows for better interpretation of signals from the body to the brain. Chiropractic helps to improve spinal function if upright posture is difficult to attain. 


1. Do slumped and upright postures affect stress response? Nair S, Sagar M, Sollers J3rd, Conceding N, Broadbent E. Health Psychol. 2015 Jun;34(6):632-41

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