Why Is It Important to Maintain Good Posture?
Do you suffer from back pain? Are you struggling to keep your back straight? If so, then you might need to work on improving your posture. This requires normal joint motion in the spine as well as muscle flexibility and strength. In other words, you need to strengthen your back muscles in order to maintain good posture and improve your muscle imbalances. Developing optimal posture is vital to your health and safety during exercise.
Good Posture for a Healthy Back
The way in which your body is positioned when you are standing or sitting is called posture. A rounded back, shoulders rolled forward, or a little hunch in the back can affect your overall appearance and these common problems have a negative impact on your health. They can also make you look tired, un-fit, weak, insecure, bored, and unattractive. A person who stands up straight, with their head high and shoulders back seems more attractive and confident than someone with bad posture. Unfortunately, some common postural issues can lead to damaging your spine and back muscles.
Don’t forget that your posture plays a key role in body language, and it can say a lot about you, such as: “I have a sedentary lifestyle and I honestly don’t care too much about my body”, “I’m tired and bored. I’m not in the mood to talk with you”, Or, “I’m confident and self-secure. You can reply on me anytime.” Bad posture can communicate the wrong message and put you in an awkward position. Many people have a hard time keeping a good posture. As a result, they experience low back and neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle spasms, headaches, fatigue, and limited range of motion throughout the body. By regularly slouching or stooping you’re putting large amounts of strain on your muscles and may cause damage to your spine. Poor posture also has long term effects, such as lengthening or shortening of the back muscles, degeneration of the joints, limited flexibility, stiffness, headaches, and other back problems. It affects the position and function of your vital organs. The digestive system and lungs are particularly affected by a hunched posture.
What can good posture do for you?
Here are the benefits:
- Makes you look self-confident
- Contributes to a healthy image
- Prevent back pain and postural strain
- Reduces muscle fatigue
- Improves breathing and circulation
- Reduces the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces
- Helps prevent arthritis and degenerative diseases
The Anatomy of Good Posture
In general, people with a curved back have a poor posture, while those standing up straight have a good posture. Your back has three natural curves:
- Lumbar curve
- Thoracic curve
- Cervical curve
When standing up, it’s important to keep these curves aligned. Your ears, shoulders, knees, hips, and ankles should form an imaginary vertical line.
From a back view, your head and spine should be straight, not curved to the left or right. Your feet and shoulders should be in line.
Make sure you keep your abdominal muscles tight at all times. When you sit, your shoulders should be relaxed. The chair back should support your middle and lower back. The knees and hips should be at the same level. Your feet should be flat on the ground.
Poor posture looks different from one person to another. The most common posture mistakes include:
- Lordosis (lower back arched)
- Kyphosis (head forward, upper back round)
- Slumped sitting posture
- Rounded shoulders
- Military posture
The good news is that you can improve your posture by making a few adjustments. Postural changes should be done gradually and practiced every day. Good posture allows you to move in the way you want and maintains your muscles flexibility, so it’s worth working on this.
Simple Ways to Improve Your Posture
The key to good posture is training your body to walk, stand, lie, and sit in positions where the least strain is placed on ligaments, nerves and muscles. Simple changes in posture can improve the way you look and feel. Start by using a firm mattress that supports your body weight without allowing you to sink into it too deeplyand adjust your desk or chair to help facilitate better posture. Those who spend a lot of time at the computer should opt for a supportive office chair. If you have poor posture, add strength exercises to your workout routine. Strong abdominal, leg, and hip muscles support your back’s natural curves. Physical exercises also help strengthen your joints. Use a high density foam roller or spikeyball to work on trigger points in smaller muscles. Do stretching exercises every day, including chest, lat, shoulder, hamstring and neck stretches. Short bursts of stretching throughout your day will help a lot. Those with more severe postural problems might consider a personalised strength program with an InFitPTv conditioning coach.