Posture

Hi Everyone!
Did your mother always tell you to sit up straight and not to slouch? Perhaps we
should consider the wisdom is this advice. Good posture is necessary for adequate
back support. Poor posture can add strain to muscles and put stress on the spine. In
the long term, incorrect posture can change the anatomical characteristics of the
spine. This can lead to possible constriction of blood vessels and nerves as well as
problems with muscles and joints. All of these can be major contributors to back and
neck pain, as well as headaches, fatigue, and possibly even concerns with major
organs and breathing.
Consider checking your posture several times throughout the day. Check out your
posture in a mirror as you pass – you may be surprised to find you do not look as
upright as you feel.
Standing side on, draw an imaginary line down the side body starting at the ears and
going down to the ankles. Your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles should all be
touching this line. The chin should be tucked in so it is parallel to the ground and the
back of the neck long. Your hands should rest by your side with the middle finger in
the centre of the thigh.
From front on, if the knees are slightly bent, they should point the same direction as
the toes with the centre of the kneecap over the second toe. The pelvis should be
level and the shoulders the same height.
Standing with your back against a wall you can put your arm through the gap
between the wall and your lower back. If your whole arm fits easily, the lumbar curve
may be too big. This can be corrected by tucking the tail bone under and drawing
the lower abdominal muscles in. Core stability is important for maintaining good
posture. Try drawing the pelvic floor upwards and the lower tummy inwards together.
This works the transverse abdominal muscles that support the lower back as well as
the pelvic contents.
If you have concerns that your posture is not at its optimum it’s a good idea to consult
o physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor or other health professional to get
professional advice. Anyone with back, neck, or pelvic injuries should not attempt to
correct their posture themselves. This could further damage the body. Contact your
health professional before trying to tamper with your alignment.
Exercises to strengthen the back to aid correct posture include rotator cuff exercises
and rowing either at the gym on a machine, using dumbbells or a resistance band.
Any strength training or lifting that you do must be carried out with correct posture in
mind and focus on core stability. Keeping the body supple with regular stretching of
major muscles will also help maintain correct alignment.
A great side benefit of maintaining good posture is an improvement in your selfesteem
and attitude. If you walk with your head up, you appear more confident, and
feel more confident, which improves your attitude and mood, making it easier to
walk with your head up. It also gives a more youthful appearance.
Yours in health,
Jeni