What is Posture?
Posture can be defined as the position we naturally take on (sitting, standing or lying).
Your body takes on this position due to the actions of the muscles & ligaments which surround our bones & joints.
Movement patterns & posture start developing very early on, so your posture is a long-term evolution over your life.
Factors that can affect your Posture are:
- Work position
- Repetitive activities
- Emotional state
- Stressful situations
- Sports you play
- Your daily habits
So is our Posture important? If so, how important?
More research is arising that static Posture may not be as important as we first thought or that Health Practitioners pay attention to. Or that poor posture is as damaging to the spine as much as we first thought.
Now this doesn’t mean that it is completely irrelevant. Especially if it is directly affecting something such as giving you pain, or how your body functions.
It just means we may need to rethink how our Posture should be.
We aren’t made to sit in one upright “perfect” position all day – we need to think of it as a fluid or a changing state. If you can think of a day where you really tried to hold your posture upright all day – You may have been quite sore towards the end of the day!
Put simply, we aren’t made to be stationary, we are made to move! The same applies for your Posture, keeping a range of positions and postures throughout the day will be better for your body.
How people can run into problems, is when their body isn’t adaptable or “ready” for a range of different postures.
In other words, it needs to be strong & mobile enough to be able to deal with the different stressors & positions of the day.
Each person is different & has different requirements – so each body needs a different approach to their posture & strength. This is where Chiropractic care may be able to assist.
Chiropractors are trained to assess spinal mobility, function & strength – from the neck to the lower back & hips – and see what effect that is having on your body (pain, injury, dysfunction etc.).
So what steps do they take?
- Decrease Pain (if present)
- Assess Postural alignment, gait (how you walk) & see if is having an effect on your function
- Assess Range of motion & flexibility of joints
- Assess tension in surrounding muscles
- Assess muscular strength & endurance
- Assess ergonomics (during work, sleep, daily activities)
My Top 5 Takeaways to start working on your Posture:
- Get an assessment from a trained Health Professional (Chiro, Osteo, Physio) in regards to your posture
- Keep in mind, no one has 100% “perfect posture” and this isn’t necessary!
- Small changes each day will give you the most sustainable change (i.e. No “quick fixes” exist for changing posture long term e.g. postural braces)
- Keep active throughout the day & take regular breaks if seated/at desk
- Having adequate levels of physical activity (INCLUDING STRENGTH TRAINING) will decrease the chances of developing aches & pains as well as many chronic diseases, so being active is your best prevention!