Saturday, October 2, 2010

Braces and posture

In general, posture has been on the decline for the past few decades.  One reason may be that people are not wearing braces as they used to. Braces actually help posture and have numerous medical benefits.

“We use our muscles reflexively to balance ourselves when we sit, stand, sleep or work. Our bodies would fall forward without muscles pulling us back. When your body is balanced, it is self-supporting and requires very little help from your back muscles. Taking strain off of your back can help to avoid many injuries. This can become especially important in certain types of jobs or activities. With correct posture, your internal organs have room to function normally, and blood circulates freely to create the best total fitness.

Wearing suspenders contributes to better posture by applying pressure on the shoulders, stimulating the brain and the body to straighten and balance itself front to back, in much the same way that balancing a book on your head stimulates the body to straighten and balance itself in all directions. The body naturally wants to balance itself. The brain and the body take in many sensual cues for sustaining balance and posture, including visual, inner ear (cochlea) and pressure exerted on the muscles and joints. We feel balanced based upon the information sent from the muscles and joints to our brains, and our brains assume that we are balanced when there is equal pressure from side to side and back to front.

Suspender straps provide an additional physical sense to give the body even more cues. The gentle pressure exerted by suspender straps on the shoulders “tricks” the body by creating the necessary stimulus that forces it to respond by straightening and balancing from front to back. This, in turn, has the effect of making the person “stand taller.” Good standing posture is when the ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are “stacked” in a straight line, shoulders relaxed and knees slightly bent. Poor posture causes muscular strain that can cause injuries and wastes energy. Good posture, enhanced by wearing suspenders, makes the person look healthier, allows clothes to fit better and makes a better impression on others. The result of wearing suspenders then, is healthier for the entire body.

They cause the body to reflexively straighten itself, encouraging the person to stand taller. Suspender wearing also creates better posture and eliminates pressure on abdominal organs while sitting or standing, since pants can be worn more loosely. Habitual suspender wearers can now claim health rewards as well as fashion rewards. To prove that suspenders encourage your body to stand straighter, try this simple test:
  1. Draw a line approximately 6 inches away from a wall.
  2. Facing your body away from the wall, place your heels on the line that you have drawn.
  3. Stand how you would normally, and have someone use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the distance between the wall and the top of your shoulders.
  4. Then, put on a pair of suspenders (and preferably the pants with them), adjust the tension enough so that there is a gentle pressure on the shoulders.
  5. Face away from the wall with your heels on the line, and re-measure the distance between the wall and the top of your shoulders.
  6. Depending upon the original standing posture, there will be from 1/2 inch to 2 inches less distance from the shoulder to the wall in the second measurement.
The back will be noticeably straighter in the suspender wearer than the non-wearer.

Wearing braces provides better posture, doesn’t restrict blood movement (which a tight belt would), and the person stands taller. This also results in more confidence. So go out there and wear braces!

Discussion time:
  • Do you wear a tight belt and feel stomach cramps?
  • Try the test – did you notice a difference in your posture?
Note: all photos are used solely for non-commercial use and to illustrate braces in fashion. No plagiarism is intended.


    1. Wearing braces really has a positive effect on my posture: I love to feel the little pressure of my suspenders on the shoulders while I am walking or standing and my body seems to stretch a bit automatically. And certainly, it is so enjoyable to feel that your suspenders hold up your pants exactly at the perfect height ( the waist!) without any pressure. Wearing suspenders is so much fun!


    2. I'm a really round shouldered girl and i notice that when I wear my suspenders I have a tendancy to bend my back even more, probably because of the pressure of the straps themselves. ButI agree with Bianca about the nice feeling of suspenders on shoulders.


    3. The comfort of wearing braces is what its all about for me.No more belts and having to hitch up my pants because of the belt.Suspenders are the answer to many problems

    4. @Anonymous: yes, the comfort of wearing braces is what is most important. A belt has too many drawbacks for people of any age and shape. What do you generally wear with your braces?

    5. I was going to try wearing a belt, but discovered I didnt own one. Any recommendations ?


    6. the comfort of braces is what keeps me wearing them.Belt buckles can be very uncomfortable digging into your midriff.There are no such problems with braces.I began wearing braces a few years ago and found them to be that comfortable that I wear them nearly all the time now.


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