Posture is summed up by the definition ‘positioning of the body.’ Very much like a pose, there is a right way and a wrong way to hold yourself when sitting, standing, walking or doing anything else that involves not lying prone.
Posture is the result of how bones, joints, muscles and nerves interact and talk to one another. They control the movement of our body, which we may have control over by design, or may happen by accident when we are concentrating on something else. Bad posture is something that most of us are guilty of at some time or other.
Causes of Bad Posture
The wrong chair, spinal conditions, injuries and our emotional state can all affect our posture. They place stress on the body, and can result in an unfortunate misalignment of the body.
Effects of Bad Posture
It’s a very rare person who can’t tick off a few of these at some point in their life.
- poor balance
- walking with head down to the floor
- blurred vision
- muscle spasms
- popping or clicking joints
- joint pain
- stiff neck
- rounded shoulders
- rounded back
- frozen shoulder
- digestive issues
- back pain
- sore hips
- sore knees
There are more, but I think these are enough to start us thinking seriously about how to help ourselves.
Correcting Bad Posture
Stand Up Tall
Use a wall to help you find out how far you have to go, to straighten your back and shoulders. Keep your heels slightly away from the wall, and adopt the pose we all know from school, when the nurse checks our height against a straight wall. Walk tall and try to keep this stance throughout your day.
Review Seating Arrangements
At work, check your desk and chair. Ensure your chair has a full back and use a cushion to align your back into a comfortable position if necessary. Keep shoulders relaxed and held back, and ensure you change position every half hour and take stretch your leg breaks regularly.
We’ve all heard it, time and time again. Exercise is good for us, but not always so easy to fit into our busy schedules. Try to strengthen your core muscles in your midsection, lower back and top of the thighs. This strengthens the muscles we need for correct posture. Pilates, yoga and weight training are all good for posture.
Don’t be a Fashion Slave
Save those stilettos for very special occasions. Likewise with very tight clothing, which can restrict your movement.
Seated Indian Head Massage can help with poor posture. Having good posture makes you feel better and standing taller makes us feel thinner, so what have you got to lose?