Some of the most common areas of pain or discomfort also happen to be areas that we use to keep up our posture. Perhaps then just one tweak, could improve our level of discomfort and leave us with more restful nights. If you think your posture is perfect and pristine, I still encourage you to take a look at hitting some posture points.
Imagine a plumb line extending down the body from a side view. This dangling line should cross through the earlobe, through the acromion process, the lumbar vertebral bodies, the greater trochanter, slightly behind the patella, and slightly in front of the late lateral malleolus (ankle). In other terms, the body should look like its split evenly in half when it comes to leaning forward or backwards.
I know this can sound confusing but here are some tips to think about.
– Is your head level? Not tilted too far to one side.
– Are your legs slightly separated with toes slightly pointed out?
– Are your hips at about the same height?
– Is the patella, the short bone on your knee level and straight, or is it at angle?
Still not convinced posture is important? Your body weight is at 100% when you’re standing in an upright position. With a forward bend, it becomes 150%. A forward bend with weight means there is almost three times as much pressure applied, 220%! In fact when we are slouched forward in a seat, there is 185% body weight applied. Ouch!
So after a long duration of sitting, you can see why your back or neck hurts so bad. Every inch your head creeps forward, an additional 12 pounds gets added to your spine. Posture affects muscle tone! So, you may be working out at the gym, but if you spend most of your hours in a seated or static position then may have decreased muscle tone by overly lengthened muscles or even tight short muscles that can’t work efficiently. Any unevenness can cause the joints to move away from the optimum position in the body. So, be kind to your body, and reposition.
Here is a helpful video to practice posture and good body mechanics.
These are the factors that go into developing a good posture:
- Good muscle flexibility
- Normal motion in the joints
- Strong postural muscles
- A balance of muscles on both sides of the spine
- Awareness of your own posture, plus awareness of proper posture which leads to conscious correction.
These are the benefits of practicing good posture:
- Prevents back and muscle pain
- Prevents fatigue because your body is using less energy since the muscles are used more efficiently
- Better appearance and confidence. When you aren’t slouching, you look taller and slimmer.
- Breathe better. Using good posture opening up your chest cavity and lungs, assisting you to breathe properly.
- Improve your concentration. With better breathing, more oxygen reaches your brain and concentration is increased.