Maybe we should have listened to our mothers and grandmothers when they said, “sit up straight and don’t slouch.”
We all know that poor posture is not healthy for any of us. It affects multiple aspects of how the systems in our body function.
Muscle Imbalances & poor alignment
Having poor posture can change the alignment of joints, overstretch some muscle and shorten others. As a result, you will acquire aches and pains that are putting unnecessary wear and tear on the body. Correct posture can lead to less injury, better movement patterns and less aches and pains.
When you exhibit correct posture, your lungs are able to fully expand and we are able to breathe from the diaphragm. This will allow us to utilize the right amount of oxygen. Slouching results in decreased space for your lungs to expand and it impedes the movement of your diaphragm. As a result, the body uses shallow breathing from the chest, allowing only short gasps of air.
Indigestion and heartburn can result from poor posture. Hunching over the table does not allow your internal organs the room they need to function efficiently. Sitting up straight allows them to perform properly thus allowing food to pass through without resistance. (Maybe standing up we can digest faster and eat more because it goes to the toes – – – it’s a joke)
Self-esteem & Body image
I call it proud posture! Someone that we encounter with slouching shoulders and hunched over does not elude confidence or strength (think of Eeyor from Winnie the Pooh). Staying with that Tigger shows self-assurance, health and probably lessens his chance of injury because of his posture.
Improvements to posture
Various cueing techniques, strengthening and flexibility exercises can be implemented to correct your posture. Pull those shoulders back, relax and sit up straight. Can’t remember that, place yourself in good posture, then take a strip of athletic tape down your spine and a strip across your back shoulder to shoulder. Now try to slouch. . .it won’t feel good! Whatever the method . . . be diligent.
By: Rocco Ferraiolo PTA, NASM certified, SPARQ certified