Signs of Poor Posture - Do You Have Them?
Which Posture Describes You?
I'm sure you still remember how you've been told again and again by your Mom and homeroom teacher to "stand up straight, or sit erect." Did you ever take that advice?
Actually, proper posture is about training the body to stand, walk, and sit, than most people realize. The posture is the position where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments to keep bones and joints in correct alignment contributing to good appearance and a healthy spine. Poor posture creates muscle tension around the shoulder and neck that also stresses the spine. The more we ignore poor posture, the more we stress our back, and the more we do that the more our posture suffers.
Three Most Visible Signs of Poor Posture
The moment we experience shallow and tensed breathing patterns, it is a sign that we have to check our posture. You have the poorest posture if you have all of the following:
Shoulder that slouches and hunches lazily
This body position puts pressure on your bones stressing the ligaments that stabilize the joints in the spine causing pain in the back. Slouching compresses the discs causing your pelvic muscles to go slack. This is dangerous as allowing your body to hold this posture for a long time can make it harder to support a well-aligned stance.
An arching lower back or curved spine
It is the spine that supports the weight of the head and trunk and provides a protective passage for nerves. With an arched lower back, your spine is not in proper alignment, and the back muscles, ligaments, discs, and spinal joints, are all under extra stress that can also weaken the abdominal muscle joints and connective tissues. All these can slowly and steadily decompress your spinal column.
Head and neck that is jabbing forward
With an awkward forward-head posture, the head shifts the center of gravity that will interfere with the vitality of the lungs and can lead to heart and vascular problems. Poor head posture increases the weight of the head putting a huge strain on the spine. This imbalance creates tension on the entire neck that affects the body's range of motion, including sleep.
Why We Get Poor Posture
Bad habits start with inactivity of the muscles that automatically puts you to poor posture exposing postural muscles to injury and back pain. All this exaggerated and abnormal sway is generally associated with rounded shoulders, forward head, and a protruding stomach and buttocks.
If you see people with bent knees when they stand or walk (particularly when wearing heels), or hear them complain about body aches, it means they have to correct their posture.
When people tend to overwork and strain, improper position of the body occurs, particularly the neck leading to a forward head position. According to the Neck Solutions, a forward neck posture of 3 inches increases the weight of the head on the neck by 30 pounds and the pressure put on the muscles increases 6 times.
This extra pressure on the neck from altered posture flattens the normal curve of the cervical spine resulting in abnormal strain of muscles, ligaments, bones and joints of the neck causing the joints to deteriorate faster than normal. The end result is lack of balance and poor posture.
- How to Stand and Sit Gracefully
Tips to enhance the body's natural beauty and encourage others.
Awareness is the beginning of correction.
- If you sit for long periods, program yourself to take breaks from time to time. A 20-30 seconds slight stretch is a big help. Get up and move gently pulling your head over your shoulders and squeeze the blades of your shoulders together in the back. Do deep breathing at the same time, inhaling and exhaling to ease your back.
- When working on a computer, your eyes should be, or "at least" eye-level to the monitor. Adjust if necessary to save your neck from getting strained. Some people use a chair with a neck holder to give support to the neck muscles.
- When driving, use a back support pillow. This will give support to the back and the head allowing the neck to move back over the shoulders.This technique can also encourage good sitting posture which activates muscles to improve posture and reduce the forward head position.
- Backpacks are also one of the reasons of a poor posture. Backpacks, particularly heavy packs that are not properly designed can cause the head to move forward to compensate for weight in the back. To correct this, always use backpacks that are properly and appropriately designed to distribute weight evenly and help to prevent strain that begins the process of poor neck posture.
The Sleeping Posture
The way you sleep contributes to your posture habits. It is just as important as the way you you sit, stand and walk. It is when sleeping that the body undergoes repair and rejuvenating process and the perfect opportunity for the spine to align itself naturally.
No matter how much you like sleeping in a particular position, always try to give your body a chance to sleep in a position that helps it maintain the curve in the back. Avoid sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. Use a pillow that allows your head to be in a normal position. Just do your best to sleep on your back. It is healthy for the spine.