Physio Podcast Transcript:
I’m sure we’ve all heard this before…
…Sit Up Straight…Your Slouching…
…These comments were often made at the family dinner table as I was growing up, good posture was important to my parents as they knew the health benefits. As you can imagine this has only grown more important to me as I understand posture and the effects it has on the body.
As a physiotherapist I often deal with aches and pains from clients, which are a direct result of years of poor posture. Now that we’re all glued to a computer more often then we like it can get even worse!
What if I was to tell you that some of your bodily complaints could be completely eradicated if you just took the time to work on your posture. If you ensured that you sit probably in chairs, slept on your side or back at night and even walked correctly.
The truth is that good posture does a lot of great things for the body. It helps to minimize muscle strain by keeping bones and joints in alignment. Good posture all decreases the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces caused by overload and strain.
In addition to that good posture minimizes fatigue as it efficiently uses the muscles allowing the body to use less energy. Now these are just a few of the positive side effects of good posture. There are many more which I could list, but I doubt the problem is that you don’t understand the benefits of good posture.
I’m pretty certain that just like me, as a kid you were taught that good posture was just good for you. Just like eating healthily is, just like exercising regularly…
…You know, that being healthy really is just a simple process of doing as many of the things that are good for you as possible, while limiting the things that you do which are bad for you.
The only exception to this is posture. What I’ve found over my experience with hundreds, if not thousands, of clients is that most people actually have the wrong perception about what good posture is.
They take the term of “stand up straight” literally and in doing this they apply unnatural pressure to their spine, back and abdomen. Pressure, which is not only unnatural but also harmful.
Good posture should not be uncomfortable. It should feel right. You know you are doing it wrong if you are feeling pressure and strain on your muscles. The simplest way that I explain good posture is to imagine you are like a puppet.
(I’m sure that’s not too hard for some of us)
Now as you imagine yourself as a puppet imagine that a string comes out the top of your head. Now hold yourself up by that string and let everything else just fall into place.
What you will as a result of this string is that the two natural curves you have in your back are maintained. The first curve is the concave curve from the base of your head to your shoulders. The second curve is the concave curve from your upper back to the base of your spine.
These two curves are like C’s.
Good posture maintains these curves as natural in the way you stand. So now that you know what good posture is, I strongly recommend that you start thinking about this string.
Thing about it as you walk, as you sit and as you sleep. The more you focus on it the more aware you will become of your posture and the quicker you can make changes to relieve stress and pressure on your joints.
It’s this stress and pressure that’s causing you to have pain or even possibly injure yourself. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you are doing the right thing with your posture.
If there’s one area of your life where I don’t want you taking short cuts, or indulging in a little bit of the “bad” it’s your posture.