Health care professionals seem to constantly be talking about posture. While many people take away the message that they should “stand up straighter” the truth about what good posture is and why you should aim to have it is a little more complicated.
One of the reasons why posture is so important is that the body has an ideal alignment for almost every joint that provides the most stability and efficiency for movement in that position.
This is particularly true for the spine, which has a large number of joints that work together to provide movement, stability and support for the body. The spine must also provide a stable base for the shoulder and head. When the spine is in its optimum position, this also allows for free movement of the nerves that supply the trunk, arms and legs.
While the human body is highly adaptable and will continue to function when a posture is not “ideal”, a lot of energy is wasted and undue stress is placed on the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body. Over time this can cause pain, tightness and loss of flexibility.
While being able to find these optimum postures is important, it is also important to simply keep moving and not be stuck in the same position for long periods. No matter how ‘ideal’ a posture is, when joints are held in the same position for too long, this can be troublesome.
Working with a great base posture combined with regular movement and stretches can have a surprising impact on your overall wellbeing. Having good posture has been linked to higher self-esteem, improved concentration, and even better lung function.
Speak to your physiotherapist for practical tips on how to improve your posture throughout the day.