Standing and Posture
Good posture protects your back and can improve your appearance.
Follow these guidelines for correct posture while standing:
- Your head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be in one line.
- Your shoulders should be square, not rounded.
- Hold your pelvis in mid-position with a slight hollow in the low back.
- Keep your knees relaxed, not locked straight.
- Place your feet a few inches apart with your weight evenly distributed.
Good posture doesn’t come overnight. You have to work at it. Try this exercise:
- Press your heels, buttocks, shoulders and head firmly against the wall.
- Walk 3-5 steps away from the wall; hold for 5 seconds.
- Return to the wall by walking backwards.
- Did you have to readjust your posture?
- Pay particular attention to your head and neck.
- Practice this exercise a few times per day until you are able to walk back to the wall without making any postural adjustments.
- Were you able to get your heels and shoulders against the wall? Increasing your flexibility will allow you to do so over time.
“Good posture” is much more than “stand up straight and don’t slouch.” In fact, that advice is often not helpful: most people, told to “stand up straight”, adopt a very rigid or “held” position which they can’t maintain for more than a few minutes, and which can strain a back.
Children naturally use themselves well, but as we get older, a free, natural way of moving gets overlaid by poor habits, particularly habits around your head, neck and back.
The Good Stuff about Good Posture!
Don’t just improve your posture because someone’s moaning at you! There are some very good reasons to consider improving it anyway.
- Good posture is calm and comfortable. If you have good posture, it is “a joy to move”, and you will move more & confidently. Moving more keeps you happy and healthy.
- Good posture improves your self-esteem.
- Good posture is beautiful.
- Good posture is athletic and well-balanced.
- Good posture is strong and resilient.
Main benefits are!
- Good posture looks after your back.
- Good posture improves your circulation, digestion and waste elimination keeping you fresh.
- Good posture improve your breathing.
Posture, Movement and Back Pain
Good posture is particularly important now that our way of life doesn’t support natural good posture very well. We do less exercise, sit still in front of TVs and computers, laptops, mobile and spend a lot of time sitting in traffic jams.
But our bodies are built for moving. Staying still for long periods is difficult and stressful for us.
Its not surprising that back pain is rampant in our country about 80% of adults.
If you are seriously worried about your posture, seek professional help from physiotherapist.
Strengthening and Exercise
Undoubtedly your ability to stand naturally can be affected by how well your muscles and joints are working. Keeping fit and flexible will help your posture.
Is Slouching A Problem?
Slouching every once in a while is absolutely fine, unless it hurts your back. It only becomes a problem if you slouch all the time, i.e. it has become a permanent habit. Keep your slouch for special occasions!
Slouching in the lower back puts quite a bit of weight on your sacrum and tailbone (coccyx) and this shouldn’t be repeated too often.
“Stand Up Straight”
Some of the traditional advice by parents & well wisher on posture is not that good. Infact it is not so easy to give good advice about posture.
- If a person has injuries or weaknesses in their body structure, it may cause further damage to tell them to “stand up straight”. A deeply-curved upper back should not be asked to stand up straight, particularly not if the sufferer has fused vertebrae or a condition such as osteoporosis.
- Human backs are not straight (and shouldn’t be!) A spine naturally has four curves, in the neck, upper back, lower back and buttock. “Stand up straight” is anatomically inaccurate. Your spine is your body’s suspension system, and the curves in your spine, much like the springs in a car’s suspension, ensure that the body’s delicate systems don’t get a shock at each step we take.
- “Stand up straight” sounds like it’s about “looking good.” Well, people who use their bodies well often look wonderful, but not everyone who is bent over is “lazy” or has something that can be remedied simply by following postural advice. And not everyone who looks “straight” is free from back pain. You can get back pain from being “over-straight” as well.