Proper posture is important whether you are standing, sitting, walking, or lying down. The term “posture” actually comes from the postural muscles, which are continually active in order to keep the body erect. With proper posture, the spine lengthens, the abdominal muscles are appropriately engaged, weight is evenly distributed, and the body is in balance. Posture affects the entire body and involves many different muscles, such as the hamstrings and the back.
It is easy to recognize bad posture in others, but many people are unaware of how often they themselves have bad posture. When standing or sitting for an extended period of time, such as at work, it is easy to shift the body into improper posture. While slouching or hunching over may seem more comfortable, it actually misaligns the body and causes some muscles and joints to overwork. This imbalance can result in moderate to severe damage, injury, and pain. Some common issues stemming from poor posture include neck and back pain, as well as headaches. In addition, poor posture can negatively impact digestion, circulation, and overall mood.
Through corrective exercises and practicing good habits, proper posture can be regained. Learning correct posture involves training the body to sit, stand, lie, and walk in positions that keep the muscles and joints in balance and place the least strain on ligaments. Depending on the severity of the poor posture, properly training the body to have correct posture can be challenging and even somewhat painful, as muscles have to be strengthened and put back into regular use.
The benefits of proper posture are enormous. The patient can experience pain relief, improved movement endurance and efficiency, and better overall wellbeing. It is important for everyone to address postural problems, because with age, these problems become progressively harder to correct. Addressing issues now can help prevent future conditions.