A number of published studies suggest that healthy spinal posture is important in aging men and women who wish independence in everyday life.
Yuji Nishiwaki, from Toho University (Japan), and colleagues assessed spinal posture in 338 men and 466 women, ages 65 to 94 years, who were independent in activities of daily living (ADL; tasks such as bathing, feeding, dressing, etc.), at the study’s start. During the 4.5-year follow-up period, 126 (15.7 percent) participants became dependent in ADL. The team found that those subjects with the greatest angle of spinal inclination—the angle between the true vertical and straight line from the first thoracic vertebra (near the head) to the first sacral vertebra (in the lower spine)—were about three and a half times more likely to become dependent on help for basic daily activities, as compared to those with the least spinal inclination. The study authors submit: “This study indicates that spinal inclination is associated with future dependence in [activities of daily living] among older adults.”
- Kojiro Kamitani, Takehiro Michikawa, Satoko Iwasawa, Norihito Eto, Taichiro Tanaka, Toru Takebayashi, Yuji Nishiwaki. “Spinal Posture in the Sagittal Plane Is Associated With Future Dependence in Activities of Daily Living: A Community-Based Cohort Study of Older Adults in Japan.” J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci., January 28, 2013.