For many of us, posture is low on the list of things we regularly think about. That’s true up until our neck, shoulders, or low back start aching, and we suddenly realize that sitting slumped over the computer or on the couch isn’t doing us any favors. But there’s more to posture than meets the eye. In fact, posture plays an important role in your physical health. Here’s how.
Stand Up Straight!
It’s something your parents or grandparents may have said to you, and it’s not just because people who slouch can look unkempt. Posture is actually a reference to the body’s preferred biomechanical alignment, and good posture matters because it reduces the force our muscles and joints must absorb on a daily basis. It’s not just about how we stand or sit. Good posture reduces pressure on the lower back, as well as other muscles and joints. And when we slip into the bad habit of poor posture, the drawbacks can be significant. They may include:
- Those aches and pains that you suffer through now in the neck or back, and more pain to follow in the hips or knees
- Less efficiency during movement
- A greater predisposition toward injury
- Reduced breath function, since hunched shoulders limit space for the diaphragm and lungs
- Reduced feelings of self confidence and competency
- A greater likelihood of reduced energy and mood
- A greater predisposition to depression
Poor Posture Mistakes
Today’s modern world doesn’t lend itself to good posture. Things like sitting at a desk for extended periods, holding a phone between your ear and shoulder, and staring down at your phone or device can all contribute to knocking the body out of alignment. The human body simply wasn’t designed to stay in a single position for hours on end. Doing so is stressful to the body, which is why experts recommend changing positions every 20 minutes. If you work at a desk, even simple stretches or a stroll around the office can help.
There are other culprits for poor posture. Wearing high heels or carrying a heavy bag or backpack on one side of the body can both lead to imbalances. Fortunately, posture is something that can be assessed and improved. Here at Framework Personal Training in Reno, our trainers perform a postural analysis on new clients. It’s a way of gathering information about weaknesses in the body so they can create a plan to properly address them.
If you’re struggling with ongoing aches and pains, and you suspect that poor posture is part of the problem, learn more about improving posture. You may find that taking better care of your body as a whole is a good place to start. And at Framework Personal Training, we can help. Contact us today.