How To Improve Your Posture
Posture is how you hold your body whether it is static or dynamic. Maintaining proper posture is important for long-term health and has preventative implications.
Static posture is how you hold your body when at rest, for example when you are sitting, standing or lying down.
Dynamic posture is how you hold your body when moving, for example walking, bending or lifting.
The position of your spine is vital in maintaining good posture. Keeping your spine in a neutral position creates the least amount of stress onto the joints in the body and allows your muscles to function optimally.
Your spine is made up of 3 main regions: cervical, thoracic and lumbar. Each section has a natural curve (cervical and lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis). These curves are designed to absorb forces both vertically and horizontally, and can withstand high amounts of forces if maintained in their neutral position. Deviation from the neutral spine is when pain and injury can occur.
Poor posture sustained over a long period of time can have long-term implications. Excessive strain is placed on your joints, which can cause joint laxity or instability, which increases the risk of arthritis. Muscles can be over lengthened or shortened, causing pain and weakness. Muscular weakness is direct negative correlation to balance and physical independence. Overall flexibility is reduced and joint stiffness increases. This has an impact on breathing, which will affect your cardiovascular endurance.
What Can I Do to Improve My Posture?
Maintaining an active lifestyle will help to prevent stiffness in your joints and improve muscular function.
When standing, ensure your head and neck are not in a protruded position, keeping your ear in line with your shoulders. Avoid rounding your shoulders which will prevent your upper back from hunching forward. Stand tall so that your hips are in line with your ankle and feet.