We hear a lot about good posture and bad posture but why is posture important, and why should we care about it?
Well I suppose, in my opinion, there are two aspects of posture.
Firstly, that our general posture day to day adapts to the activities we do most regularly. This can cause some muscles to to get weaker and longer, and others to get stronger and shorter which can lead to problems.
Secondly, how we stand or hold ourselves is the first impression that people will have of us and that impression can be good or bad depending on your posture.
First of all let’s talk about the biomechanical side of posture.
If you spend a lot of time sitting which many of us do these days often you’ll find that your posture changes over time so that the muscles in the front of your pelvis, your hip flexors become tighter and your lower back muscles can become weaker.
If you also tend to adopt a leaning forward or hunched position this leads to tension in the pec muscles at the front of your body, and tightness in your traps muscles around your shoulders and neck.
Over time these adaptations to sitting can lead to pain in our lower back, upper back or neck and can sometimes lead to headaches. For this reason alone it is good to have a good posture when sitting at your desk.
For that reason it is important to make sure that we find a balance between how much time we are sitting or standing with the amount of time we are mobile, active and stretching.
The British Chiropractic Association have created a three minute exercise routine to help improve posture called Straighten Up Uk. This is something you could try to implement to help improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine.
Below are some pictures of different posture – perhaps see which you feel is most similar to your own posture:
Secondly, we come to the more social side of posture.
If you are standing in a room with your shoulders hunched, your head hung downwards looking at the floor and your arms crossed in front of your body, how would you come across? You would probably come across as someone who does not want to be approached, as shy, or unconfident.
This can affect how people approach you.
However if you stand tall with your shoulders back, your head looking out into the room with a big smile on your face, then this will make your more approachable. You will look more confident, even if you don’t feel it at the time. This can make a big difference to how you are perceived not only in a work situation but social situation as well.
In a very famous TED talk by Amy Cuddy, she approaches the effect of posture, power posing on confidence and the success it can then bring to interviews and work situations. If you have not watched it already I suggest you check it out here.
As we have learnt in this blog there are several different sides to posture. Why is important, not only biomechanical sense, but in a social setting as well. If you have spent years hunching over a computer or standing badly then it can be difficult to suddenly try and stand up straight. Often you will find that the muscles you need to use to make you stand up straight are weak and will not be able to hold you in one position for any length of time.
I hope you have found this information helpful. If you would like some advice on posture then you are welcome to contact me through email on email@example.com or phone on 01635 791 301.
If you have any questions or comments then do let me know, or alternatively post them in the comments below.