When you begin to hear comments like, “you bend when you walk” or “you don’t sit straight up, do you have any pain?” and so on. All these comments, questions and more can become annoying when you think that your posture is just right. Have it in mind that those making the comments are not wrong and they have only your best interest at heart.
The way you walk, sit and stand greatly determines how your body would adapt to the ease or stress at which you do your movements. Good posture has its effect on the body, so also a bad body posture has its effects on the body.
If your posture is distorted, it causes strains and discomfort on your muscles. A distorted posture causes muscle cramps. When this bad posture continues over a long time, your body system will no longer hold the bad posture, which leads to further damage of some parts of the body system. Take for instance, a wear and tear of joints and ligaments, a high possibility of fracture, sprain and so on.
It has been discovered through research that a poor body posture leads to scoliosis, tension headache, back pain and lower back pain. Also, organs like the lungs become less efficient in their functions when sitting or standing posture is wrong.
A good or bad posture has a way of influencing your emotional state of mind, hence, you should strive towards having and maintaining good postures only. It has been discovered that the right sitting posture can prove difficult to achieve due to so much sitting in front of a computer, using mobile phones and tablets to taking a ride in a bus, or train. All these require you bend or sit in an awkward and often discomforting position.
What does good posture look like?
This is what a good posture looks like: When you take a look at the spine from the front to the back, there are 33 vertebrates stacked in a straight line. When you look at the spine towards the side, the spine has 3 curves present in 3 different locations. One on the neck, one on the shoulders, and the last one at the lower part of the back.
When babies are born, they have just one spine which is C-like in shape. The other curves usually develop when they reach the age of 12-18 months. It is at this stage that their muscles gain more strength. The function of these curves are to help humans stay upright and absorb the stress that comes from walking, running, jumping, etc. If these curves are properly aligned, you should be able to draw a straight line from a point in front of your shoulders, to the back of your hip, to the front of your knee and then to a few inches in front of your ankle when standing up. This alignment keeps your centre of gravity directly over your base of support, this however allows you to move efficiently with very little fatigue and muscle strain.
When you are in a sitting position, your neck should be vertical and not tilted downward or forward. Your shoulders should be relaxed alongside your arm which is close to your trunk. Also, your knees should be at a right angle with your flat feet on plain ground.
What is required for a better posture?
When trying to fix a problem of bad sitting or standing posture, the first thing is to rearrange or restructure your environment, either at home, office or in your car. Adjust your screen or sit to suit your eye level and height. Ensure that your elbows and wrists are supported, you can use ergonomic aids if need be. When sleeping, sleep with your side and support your neck with a pillow and another pillow between your legs. When choosing your shoes, choose shoes with low heels and a good arc support. Use headsets for taking your phone calls.
A good posture is as good as keeping your muscles and joints moving. When muscles and joints are static for long periods even with a good posture, it is as bad a regular movement with a bad posture. All your movements should be done smartly such as moving around frequently if your work requires you to sit a lot; your backpack should be carried symmetrically with your back. Make use of your muscles by exercising regularly, this also helps your joints, bones, brain and heart. If you are worried about any strain bad posture has caused, you can check with a physical therapist. Good posture makes you look healthy and smart.
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