Studies say a slumped posture can cause you to DIE earlier. Is it true?
Wow, that’s a pretty big call. When I first saw this study I thought it sounded a bit ridiculous. Just being excessively slumped is associated with dying earlier? Sounded a bit dramatic. Then I read the study, and a few other studies on this topic.
Slumping forward is one of those things that tends to happen as we age. I’m sure you have seen older people walking along, looking down towards the ground as their back arches forward.
As we age our backs become stiffer, the discs become a little dehydrated and can shrink, and this is compounded by things like arthritis and osteoporosis which will really exaggerate the slump.
So how does that cause us to die earlier?
Researchers tracked around 1500 people for a few years and measured all sorts of parameters. They found that people who are more slumped than others performed worse in a number of physical tests, all of which have been linked to longevity. Things like
1. Risk of falling
2. Ability to get out of a chair
3. Grip Strength
4. Ability to walk with ease (ie is walking difficult for them?)
They concluded that “hyperkyphotic (excessively slumped) posture was specifically associated with an increased rate of death due to atherosclerosis”. Maybe being slumped compresses the ribs and affects heart and lung function somehow?
One of the best things you can do for the upper back, to reduce this forward flexion, is FOAM ROLLING. Studies have shown that just a few minutes is enough to increase mobility in the upper back.
Here are all the links to the studies cited above: