Among the many benefits of improving one's posture is the connection between posture and balance. As posture suffers, so too does one's balance. Muscles tighten as they tire, and the quicker they tire, the more consistently tight the muscles will get. Tight muscles can make the body move to one side, hunch forward, or cause injuries that can lead to even worse posture. As posture suffers, balance can get thrown off entirely. Balance relies on the mind's ability to orient itself, so if the body's position changes, the mind gets disoriented and the connection between posture and balance becomes evident.
Poor posture can lead to a host of issues in the spine, shoulders, neck, hips, and legs. Slouching can lead to muscle aches, and a lack of lumbar support can cause spinal compression or a herniated disc in the spine. As these issues develop, posture and balance need to be improved before the pains become chronic. Posture-correcting exercises and stretches can improve the function and overall health of the spine, which in turn will improve balance. If the sufferer sits for long periods of time at an office desk, it is perhaps time to consider purchasing an ergonomic chair that will offer corrective support for the spine, shoulders, and neck.
Sitting or standing to one side can shorten muscles on one side of the body. Posture and balance will both be affected by such constant positions, as the spine will constantly be out of alignment, and the body's equilibrium will overcompensate to the shortened side. Even more common is the tendency to slouch forward as the body ages, sending the body's center of gravity forward. This can lead to more frequent falls or stumbles, which can in turn lead to injuries such as broken wrists or hips. To counteract such positioning and to improve posture and balance, simple stretching exercises can help bend the body backward, promoting a straight and healthy spine that will lead to more consistent balance.
Poor posture and balance also affect the way the body moves. When walking, poor posture can send more body weight forward, meaning more weight will be placed on the knees and the balls of the foot. This can affect the walking gait and cause pain in certain muscles and ligaments throughout the body. Constant neck pain can also be indicative of poor posture, especially during sitting and walking, as the eyes are drawn to objects straight ahead and the neck will bend awkwardly if the body is not standing upright properly.