If you weren’t annoyed by your mum for the better part of your teenage years about maintaining good posture, were you ever really a teenager?
“Stop slouching!!!!”, “Sit up straight in your chair whilst eating dinner!!!”
Parents really do have a thing for posture and who can blame them, the importance of proper postural alignment will allow one to work more efficiently with less fatigue and strain on your body’s ligaments and muscles.
In saying this, parents may not necessarily be the best people to lecture you on this (unless of course, they’re qualified in the field of Health Sciences!). After all, there is more to posture than just good or bad, so let’s uncover the truth.
THE TRUTH UNCOVERED
People are often led to believe posture is either good or bad; a fascination with body image plays a massive part in this as people strive to achieve perfect ‘straight’ posture in a misconstrued reality of what the ideal posture actually looks like. A person’s optimal postural alignment will vary greatly according to body shape and overall makeup. Ultimately posture doesn’t look a certain way, but it does feel a certain way – Great range of motion and strong, stable movement.
Many people believe this is hard to achieve and even harder to maintain. Achieving good posture is all about developing good habits and once those habits have been established, subconsciously your range of motion will improve as a result.
Another common misconception is that posture cannot be corrected and in your formative years as a teenager, posture is engrained into our very being. This is NOT TRUE, posture can be improved or altered at any age, young or old.
Does posture require strength? Absolutely not – People believe being fit, strong and active automatically translates to good posture. But, it doesn’t have to involve strength at all, rather a conscious effort to maintain good habits.
Now we’ve debunked some of the more common misconceptions on posture, let us unravel some ways to improve that hunched over state of being – Remembering that these tips can be used for everyone, as useful for grandpa as they are for your newborn cousin, it is never too late!
TIPS TO IMPROVE POSTURE
LOOK IN A MIRROR
Stand front on and side on to a mirror and look for any imbalances, feel for sore spots and look at the way in which your body is leaning or angling towards. Then standing as tall as you possibly can, move your shoulders up and down, draw your feet in together and then move them back apart. Visualize something light and comfortable (we’re thinking of a cloud). Draw in your stomach and reanalyze your posture.
EXERCISE YOUR RHOMBOIDS
These are the muscles in between your shoulders. To work them, draw your shoulder blades together, hold for 10 seconds and release. Do this five to 10 times every day and you’ll soon see a difference.
TRY SOME YOGA POSES
Downward facing dog, upward facing dog, mountain pose, or the warrior pose – Yoga or Pilates aims to strengthen posterior chain muscles and draw those shoulders back into a neutral position. 15 minutes a day will benefit you greatly!
CREATE GOOD HABITS
A great starting point to improve your posture is simply to become aware of it. In other words, it is a habit you will ultimately endeavour to create. While sitting in your office chair at work perhaps, trigger a thought that will make you become aware of your posture, this will put you on a path that initiates a line of good habits.
GET UP, WALK AROUND
As muscles tire, slouching, slumping, and other poor postures become more likely; this, in turn, puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, change positions frequently. Get up, do a quick lap of the office and then sit back down – If you’re looking for something a little outside the ordinary, possibly a standing work station?
Proper postural alignment is a focus for all our practitioners – All of Muscle Joint Bone Clinic’s team members are government registered healthcare professionals