A Healthier, More Satisfying Second Half of Life: Bone Health


How to Avoid Bad Posture and Kypho-scoliosis Starting at 40
By Dr. James Wyss


Start at 40 to prevent postural deformities that can decrease quality of life and function. Your mother was right when she said to stand up straight and to stop slouching when sitting. For so many of us, as we become adults, we lose the awareness of what good posture feels like. Slowly the head and shoulders drop forward and we give in to gravity.  If we do not fight this trend our upper back will begin to round, a condition known as kyphosis. These changes negatively impact appearance, confidence, natural gait and even balance. When this occurs, physician evaluation and physical therapy is often required to address the postural problem.  Simple exercises for postural retraining can be done each day to prevent these postural problems and take only a few minutes. Here are my recommendations for every woman to begin at 40:

  1. During the day while walking and standing, occasionally squeeze shoulder blades together and retract the head back. Hold for 5 seconds.
  2. Practice the principle of spine elongation throughout the day. This means focusing on making yourself longer from head to tailbone.
  3. Stand up tall against the wall for two minutes each day and try to make sure the back of the head, shoulder blades and buttocks touch the wall. Pull the navel in toward your spine. Hold.

Take postural breaks from sitting at least every 60 minutes.  Stand up and take 30 to 60 seconds to perform a Bruegger postural release exercise (see picture).



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  • D. A. Wolf January 19, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    This kind of article is extremely helpful and I only wish I had been more aware of these factors when I was in my 40s. I thought I knew about all of the risk factors only to find that item – having a slight build or being petite – is one that I would not have anticipated. Color me surprised when my physician pointed out my increased risk because of my diminutive stature (barely 5′), along with other factors.

    One of the other items on this list, the issue of weight-bearing exercise, reminds me of a question that has gone unanswered for years: What if you have sustained injuries that don’t allow for weight bearing exercise? What alternatives might one have? Or if you live with chronic pain, what are some of the alternatives if weight bearing exercise is not possible?