What is good posture?

What is good posture?

What is good Posture? Everyone is different!

“Good posture is relaxed posture – it should not feel like an effort” (except perhaps mentally as you change habits!).

Most people know that having a good posture is important, but how many of us are aware of how we stand and sit on a day-to-day basis?

The diagram below illustrates four of the more common postures; there are of course variations to these.

From left to right (image below) postures are;

A. Normal – like the song…the ankle bone is connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone is connected to the shoulder bone, and the ear

B. Kyphosis/Lordosis – curves

C. Flat back – no curves

D. Sway back – pelvis in front of the breast bone (look side ways)

 

So why do people have such differing postures? This relates to many factors; body type, how we modeled our parents’ postures, how we learned to sit and walk as we were growing up, injuries we have stored up can affect our posture, and our emotions.

Posture also influences how our injuries heal, as it dictates how we move our bodies, how we live in our body during its waking hours, and which muscles are weak, tight or strong. Poor posture can cause muscular pain, most of us have experienced this.

We all want to have the ideal ‘normal ‘alignment (see Fig. A), and it doesn’t have to be perfect! In my experience, unless you have wedging of your vertebrae or another fixed deformity like structural scoliosis… optimal alignment can be achieved.  Through awareness, observation, feeling and practice you can make a big difference to your posture.

If poor posture is detracting from your overall physical wellbeing then an assessment by a qualified physiotherapist can help.

How do we correct our posture?
  1. Awareness – have your posture professionally assessed so you know how to align it specific to you.
  2. Observation – stand in front of a mirror and observe how your bones line up according to the plumb line shown in the image.
  3. Feeling – Weight should feel evenly distributed over the feet. Feel how the new position you have been shown feels in your body.
  4. Practice – Check your posture regularly. The more often you do this the more your neuromuscular system will change so it will become automatic. Neuromuscular changes usually take between 3-12 weeks.
  5. Feedback – Use a mirror to check your posture daily, and check-in with your physio to see you have it right.

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