From childhood to young adulthood, you’ve probably been reminded more than once to stand straight. Not only does it help you look more confident, it’s also important for one’s overall well-being. Whether in motion or sitting still, maintaining the right position can prevent pain, injuries and other health issues. In the long run, being mindful of your posture may even save a trip to the chiropractor.
There are two types of postures that we engage in on a regular basis. The first is dynamic. This refers to the way the body is held when in motion. For example, when walking, running or bending to reach for something, it exemplifies a dynamic pose. The second, or static posture, refers to the way your body is held when it’s still. The most common instances of static positions can be observed while sitting, standing or sleeping.
The human body is a complex collection of systems, organs and nerves that keep you functioning at the best of your ability. The spine provides body structure and support, allowing you to move freely and flexibly. Poor posture can reduce blood supply to the back, core and abdominal muscles while stiffening and weaking the trunk and lower back. The longer you sustain prolonged hunching, the more difficult it is to change the incorrect posture.
Too much slouching may potentially cause serious health issues, many of which require physical or massage therapy to treat. Bad posture could:
- Misalign the spine and musculoskeletal system
- Cause neck, shoulder and back pain
- Decrease flexibility
- Affect joint movement and balance
- Impair food digestion
- Strain the lungs
In order to improve poor posture, it’s important to stay active, and recognize your dynamic and static stances. Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and other exercises increase body awareness, while managing a healthy body weight can alleviate extra stress on your abdominal muscles and pelvis. Unsupportive shoes might even make a difference as they can harm ankle alignment and negatively redistribute shock from impact on your feet. The curve of the foot is closely related to that of the spine, making it crucial to keep them aligned.
Having correct posture is a great habit to reduce pain, increase flexibility and boost overall circulation. See the accompanying resource to learn more about the effects of good poise and what it looks like on a daily basis.
Author bio: Ian Feurtado is Fitness and Wellness Director for Metro Physical & Aquatic Therapy, Long Island’s premier physical therapy company. Feurtado has been with Metro for more than seven years and has helped thousands of patients with his specialized exercise programs.