3 Essential Elements of a Healthy Lifestyle | Posture Doctor


A US Study in The American Journal of Medicine found that 62.1% of all US bankruptcies are caused by medical illness.

With statistics like that, we can no longer rely on the simplicity of one cause, one effect – in other words, poor physical health (cause) may lead to pain (physical effect), depression (emotional effect), lost productivity (career effect) and eventual bankruptcy (financial effect) for 62.1% of Americans.


In Tom Rath’s rather interesting book, Well-being, he points out that well-being isn’t only about being happy, wealthy or successful. He cautions those of us who are quick to buy programs to get rich or lose weight or sort out our love lives, because when these single-focus programs fail, we may wonder what went wrong.


When it comes to correcting our posture, we need a similar approach. If we are to truly apply the best formula for fixing our posture, we need an approach that addresses more than just our physical well-being. Although our physical lifestyles contribute largely to our body postures, it’s essential to address all elements of a healthy lifestyle, if we are to get real results and results that last.

Three essential elements of a healthy lifestyle

When I work with my posture pupils, I start with a very long eligibility questionnaire designed to identify areas that need more attention, as well as pointing out areas of strengths. I often find certain elements lacking in those pupils not satisfied with their health results to date; those who have been working at fixing their posture for a long time, with little or no results. I like to breakdown these healthy lifestyle elements into three essentials:

  1. Physical lifestyle
  2. Chemical lifestyle
  3. Emotion lifestyle

Physical Lifestyle

When most people think about their posture they focus on how they sit or stand, what chair or pillow they should buy, or the latest fitness fad to solve all their problems in less than a month. That’s certainly not the very best approach! The second biggest posture mistake, is forgetting your lifestyle! Physical lifestyle is very important, but it’s not everything.

The most effective way to address the physical causes of poor posture, is to make daily posture exercise a habit. When you create a healthy posture habit for life, you hard wire it into the brain, until it no longer feels like a chore. You would no more miss your daily Posturecise, than you would miss breakfast, having a shower or brushing your teeth. Creating a habit takes time; there is no quick fix, but if you do a little and often (ideally, every day) it’s a habit you can learn to love!

Chemical Lifestyle

Where do you live? By the sea or in a busy city? What kinds of things do you put on your skin? What kind of chemicals do you clean your house with? How much coffee or soda do you drink? How many pills do you pop? The chemistry of your body affects the workings of your body. Did you know that a highly acidic diet (meats, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, soda, wheat, sweeteners, juice) cause calcium to be leached from bone? This leaves your bony skeleton vulnerable as you age. Your chemical lifestyle may be just as important as your physical lifestyle when it comes to fixing your posture.

Emotional Lifestyle

Were you shy as a child? Did you develop shy posture? Do you not want to stand out – are you embarrassed by your posture? What kind of support network do you have? Do you live in a stressful environment? Do you have a supportive partner? Do you yell, or do you keep everything bottled up inside? Emotions matter and they matter a lot!

Amy Cuddy (Ted Talks) explains that just two minutes of power posing (think Wonder Woman) can boost testosterone levels. Increased levels of testosterone have been shown to lower the stress hormone cortisol and to have a direct correlation with our levels of success in life. Suddenly we have a lot more reason to get our emotions in check!

If you are tired of getting just average results when trying to correct your posture, maybe it is time to rethink your lifestyle. Good posture requires that you give attention to each of the three essential elements of a healthy lifestyle.

What one thing could you do today, to make a change in one of these areas of your life? Feel free to share what you’re taking on, in the comments section below.

2 thoughts on “3 Essential Elements of a Healthy Lifestyle | Posture Doctor”

  1. So, after watching all 7 videos I am left feeling as if too much water under the bridge. Like “Why bother?” I am too old, my idiopathic scoliosis and the 6 herniated discs were not found until I was in my late 40s. It seems like I just started crumbling about 5 years before that. But I had been active for at least 20 years before that. Jazzercise, then running for 10 years. Then when I found out I had osteoporosis I stopped running outside and joined a gym. Worked on a treadmill and lifted light weights in a class designed for older women. Of course having much more pain led to the MRI that confirmed my scoliosis and subsequent 1st surgery spinal fusion L1-sacrum. That is when I started pain meds. I really had no time in between that surgery and the 17 level fusion to get back up and find a plan. I got PT for 3 weeks at the hospital I was in. After I went home I was in extreme pain for another month but I went to PT even though I hurt. I cut back on all medication. That’s when I started walking again. I’d been walking for 6 months before that surgery despite the pain. I am still walking 3 times a week. I am overweight, I was 123lbs and now I am 128lbs. I am 4’11”. Yes I am older. But because I didn’t know my posture would progress and the first crookedness was attributed to my scoliosis, I was led to believe that each surgery would straighten me up! I was quite straight after the last surgery. But over the last 7 years I’ve continued to worsen. Obviously I contributed to these 7 mistakes. And I will soon be seeing a chiropractor. But, you messages imply to me that I am past the point of no return.
    I refuse to think like that. I may be older but I’m not a dumb bunny. I never thought I’d be watching short videos like these that more or less count me out. I know you advised me to seek medical advise from the pertinent professionals and that wouldn’t be you. And maybe I led you astray when I said I trusted you only. There is no way I would have misconstrued your advise and not listened to my MDs. But I did enjoy and learned from the videos I did watch. But these last 7 emails really seemed to count out people like me. That’s a shame.
    Rebecca Miles

    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you for your open, honest comment. I’m so sorry to hear of your ongoing troubles but also inspired by your ongoing motivation to be healthy.

      Wow, how very much you have endured. I feel for you truly. To know me, you would certainly no I NEVER ‘count out people’ … EVER. My blog and videos have been created for the ‘average’ person who has ‘average’ issues with their posture. 17 level spinal fusion is far from average and it would be be unsafe to work with such clients online. Thank you for demonstrating the reasons why 1-2-1 medical care is prudent in such cases.

      My online support is not designed for people with a history of spinal surgery or bone disease, because I know that correcting posture for this group – especially with spinal fusion, is the wrong goal. Fusion permanently alters the structure of the spine (posture). Sadly, not all orthopaedic surgeons, consider the alignment or mechanics of the whole body with their surgery. Often function and pain relief is the goal and perhaps that isn’t necessarily the wrong approach.

      Age, whether we like it or not, is a significant factor in how much we can expect from an online posture correction program. My own body (with bunion and scoliosis) understands the limitations of matter. Does that mean that the older population don’t benefit from daily posture exercise? Absolutely NOT. Many of my pupils are well into their senior years and enjoy an active lifestyle.

      Osteoporosis is a serious bone disease. A very challenging disease and I do not make online exercise for this group. I have treated many people with osteoporosis for more than a decade in private practice and I know from experience that this group benefits most, when they work alongside the support of a primary health care provider. That is the safest way forward.

      I love comments like yours Rebecca because it reminds us that we never know what is around the corner. We need to start today with our health and not wait. And sometimes, even if we are doing all the right things, we don’t always get the outcomes that we’d hope for. We are reminded that even with best intentions, we can not always predict the future. We must always seek medical attention for diseases of the spine, for which surgery might be required. You remind our readers that even with a serious diagnosis, one can still remain active and hopeful and never give up.

      Thank you for your wise words.


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