A great new study in BMC Geriatrics measured how women’s posture changes after age 60. Researchers measured postural degeneration with age in groups of women aged 60–70 years, 71–80 years, and 81–90 years, and summarized the changes which the StrongPosture® concepts refer to as “old posture” or “weak posture” thusly:
“Differences were found among age groups in the upper thoracic spine slope, thoracic kyphosis depth, lumbar lordosis angle, and asymmetry of the shoulder blades….These changes are strongly associated with balance degeneration, increasing the frequency of falls, as well as pain and degeneration from the stress of abnormal load bearing.”
I strongly agree with their assessment of the “cause of the deepening of thoracic kyphosis with age is multifactorial; the aging process causes changes in the body in an upright position due to changes in passive and active stabilizers of the spine This contributes to the development of degenerative-deforming processes, especially at the spine and hip joints, which are particularly vulnerable to weight load. Regressive changes in ligaments and articular cartilage cause deterioration of body mechanics, progressing with age. As a result of diminishing muscle strength, elderly people subconsciously balance their body weight by adjusting the spine, which significantly affects body posture. This leads to further impairment of the physiological curvature of the spine, and when in the standing position, to compensative banding of the legs in the hip and knee joints. Tilting of the whole body forward results in movement of the center of gravity forward in the same direction. As previously reported, increased thoracic kyphosis results in the progression of disability, an increase in falls due to the transfer of the center of gravity, lung disease, diminished quality of life, an increased risk of fractures, and overload disease.”
The authors takeaway: exercise the opposite of the direction of degeneration. Which is precisely the point of daily StrongPosture® exercises.
Changes in the body posture of women occurring with age, Justyna Drzał-Grabiec1*, Sławomir Snela12, Justyna Rykała1, Justyna Podgórska1 and Agnieszka Banaś3 BMC Geriatrics 2013, 13:108 doi:10.1186/1471-2318-13-108