When we see people who walk by standing tall, seemingly with undeniable poise, we cannot put a finger on what brings on that confidence. It may be how they carry themselves, but an important factor to it would be their good posture.
Posture is how one holds their body up. It is more than just looking good; it is critical for your health as good posture helps in preventing injuries and body pain. When you are moving like walking or running, you are assuming dynamic posture. If you are not moving, such as when you are standing or sitting, you are assuming static posture.
Good posture ensures the alignment of the body: head is held above the shoulders, and the shoulders are over the hips. The spine’s three natural curves at the neck, at the middle of the back, and the lower back should also be maintained.
Any misalignment or increase in the curves could result in several health issues. Bad posture, such as slouching, can make the spine brittle and thus puts it at a high risk for injury. Poor posture can also cause chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. It also reduces muscle flexibility and joint mobility. Balance can also be affected thus increasing fall risk.
To avoid pain and injuries, how can posture be improved? There are several ways:
Be conscious of maintaining good posture
Think of it as wearing a book on top of your head and preventing that book from falling. Whether you are sitting, standing, or walking, try to “protect” that book from falling and it would surely help you always assume good posture.
Keep your ideal weight
Having additional weight on your body can cause the abdominal muscles to weaken. This can cause the muscles in your spine and pelvis to work more, thus resulting in strain and at risk for back injury. Maintaining your body’s ideal weight will greatly help you to achieve a good posture and avoid lower back pain.
Exercises are helpful, not just for improving posture, but for your total health. There are certain exercises that address posture improvements, such as stretching, Pilates, and yoga. It is also beneficial to do exercises to strengthen the core muscles in the back, abdomen, and pelvis, so that these muscles coordinate with and help each other to avoid muscle strain.
Wear comfortable footwear
Wearing shoes that are painful on the feet forces you to adapt to the discomfort while using them. Thus, uncomfortable shoes put strain on your leg muscles, thus ultimately affecting your posture.
Use ergonomically-designed furniture
Getting a work chair that supports your back while you work will help encourage good posture. Also, kitchen or bathroom counters or tables should be of standard height, to avoid putting strain on the muscles on your shoulders and back.
Take regular breaks
Changing sitting position to avoid strain will help, as well as taking walks in between breaks. Perform regular stretching exercises, even while sitting on your desk. Avoid crossing your legs and place them flatly on the floor. The shoulders should be square and relaxed, pulled back and aligned with your hips. While standing, keep upright and pull your abdomen in. Place most of your weight on the balls of your feet, and distribute it evenly between the two.
Tribeca Physical Therapy can help you restore your good posture. We have highly qualified physical therapists who can assist in your recovery and rehabilitation journey. Send them a message today for inquiries.