The importance of good posture

What is good posture?

posture wordle

We hear a lot these days of the importance of good posture, but what is posture and what happens if it is not at an optimum?

Posture refers to the position in which we hold ourselves against gravity. It is important when sitting or standing (static posture) and during activities such as walking and running (dynamic posture).

Optimum posture (or good postural alignment) is where the position of the joints and limbs of the body are in a state of muscular and skeletal balance, allowing us to move with minimal strain on the musculoskeletal system.

A quick and easy way to check your standing posture is to stand side on to a mirror and draw an imaginary vertical line from your ears, to your shoulders, then down to your hips, knees and ankles. These points should be in line for an optimal standing position.

The reality is, especially in modern day life, with increased time sitting in front of a computer or looking down at mobile phones/tablets, our posture is often not at optimum.

You may have noticed when you checked your posture, that your head was forward of your shoulder and/or your shoulders were rounded or perhaps your hip was forward of your knee and ankle.

All of these variations in posture can lead to muscular imbalance. This is where some muscles overwork, while others will become weak to maintain the variation, leading to joint stiffness and eventually neck, back and/or shoulder pain.

What you can do about it?

Do a posture check

  • Stand with your feet slightly apart
  • Soften your knees slightly (unlock them)
  • Shift your body weight back so that your hips and knees are more over your ankles/ mid foot
  • Make sure your pelvis is in neutral alignment (not tipping forward or back)
  • Relax the muscles of your bottom
  • Relax the shoulders and chest
  • Turn on your core muscles by lifting your trunk and head up

Have a Physiotherapy Assessment

A physiotherapy assessment can identify the factors contributing to poor posture and help you to correct it for the long term, preventing injuries pain and dysfunction. Why not try it? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Try Pilates

Pilates is a very effective way to train your muscles to move efficiently. Pilates focuses on building core strength around your spine and improving muscular balance throughout your body, leading to an improvement in posture. Ask us for more information on how it can help you and help change your posture for the better.