How Your Nutritional Habits Affect Your Posture
You’ve probably heard just about everything that impacts your posture, right? Have you ever thought about the food you’re eating and how that affects it? It’s an uncommon subject. Many don’t realize the effect that their nutrition plays on their body, but I’m going to shed some light on it.
First, think about how a person’s weight affects it. You may not have an issue with your weight, but you may know someone who does and that’s why it’s important for you to continue reading.
The more weight you’re carrying the more strain it could be placing on your body
The right diet can help you avoid excessive weight. The more
weight someone is carrying, the more detrimental it is to their posture.
Your lumbar curve maintains your upright posture and supports the
weight of your body. Excess weight places stress on your bones, muscles,
and joints. Extra weight in the stomach can pull the pelvis forward,
strain the lower back and create lower back pain. This can also cause an
unnatural curvature of the spine.
Extra weight can create lower back pain by impacting the pelvis and lower back
Your weight isn’t the only part of this equation. The nutrients you
consume, or avoid, could also create an issue for your posture. Have you
ever heard of kyphosis? It’s an exaggerated forward rounding of the
upper back. While it has several possible origins, one of the causes is
osteoporosis, which weakens and compresses the spinal bones. Low calcium
intake and insufficient vitamin D increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Scary thought, right?
In addition to vitamin D and calcium, maintaining a healthy weight is
important for bone health and posture. Vitamin D plays a major role in
calcium absorption, bone health, muscle performance, balance, and risk
of falling. Sun exposure is also an important source of vitamin D, but
you also need to ensure you’re receiving enough from your diet. Calcium
can be found in dairy products, fortified foods, and dark green leafy
vegetables. Vitamin D can be found in fortified milks and cereals, egg
yolk, salt-water fish, and liver. UV-treated mushrooms are also a good
Do you work with older adults?
Older adults are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency, so
anyone who has limited sun exposure or kidney issues also needs to be
aware of this information. If you, or a client you work with, feel
unsure about any of this, please consult your physician or a dietitian
to ensure you’re receiving adequate calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
Do not take supplements until you ascertain this information.
We’ve covered the foods that you should eat, but what about the foods
you need to avoid? Excessive alcohol, caffeine, coffee, and soft drinks
wreak havoc on your bone health because they interfere with calcium
absorption and could contribute to bone loss.
The last piece I want to touch on is your body’s alignment during
meal times. You, or your client, might slouch/slump whenever you watch
something on your TV or electronic device. In addition, if you’re like
me when I’m extremely hungry, there is a strong tendency to lean over
your plate. While this does aid in shoveling the food into your mouth
faster, it does compromise your alignment. Pay attention to your habits
during meal times and you may catch something you didn’t realize was
Enjoy your meals, but pay attention to your posture while eating and avoid mindless eating
You may have more questions about food and nutrition after what you just read. You may want to:
- Learn weight management strategies
- Teach your clients how their eating habits affect their body
- Improve your mindset by controlling how and what you eat
- Learn how to use food to improve your overall performance
- Earn more money by learning how to use this information
You can start by signing up for these continuing education/CEC courses on nutrition from our educational content partner, Educational Fitness Solutions.