“Sit up straight!”
“Pull your shoulders back.”
How many of us have heard one of these from one or both of our parents? We often get annoyed, roll our eyes, and walk away, but what they are telling us to do about our posture is very important!
What does good posture mean?
We often hear that we need to improve our posture, but what does that mean for our bodies?
When we have “good posture,” our body is in alignment. Regardless of our position (i.e. sitting, standing, or lying down), when we have proper alignment, we eliminate the strain on our muscles, ligaments, and joints. In order to have proper alignment, we must train our bodies to walk, sit, stand, run, and perform any activity properly.
An easy way to think about good posture is to think of parts of the body as Legos – one Lego stacks on top of the other. You cannot build a structure that stands upright if one Lego is out of place.
What are the benefits of having good posture?
There are many benefits to having good posture including:
- The prevention of back injury and strain from improper stance
- A decrease in the amount of pressure and stress on ligaments which prevents overuse injuries
- The prevention of muscle fatigue because the muscles are working more efficiently than before
- A decrease in the abnormal wear and tear of the joints that could lead to arthritis if not corrected
What does good posture look like?
A common question is what exactly does good posture look like. Well, it is easiest to think of good posture depending on different daily activities.
Correct sitting position:
- Both feet should be flat on the floor (i.e. not crisscrossed)
- Sit at the back of the chair (i.e. your gluts should hit the back of the chair)
- If sitting at a computer, your eyes should be aligned with the middle of the screen
Correct sleeping position:
- Sleep in a position that supports and maintain the curve in your back (i.e. not on your stomach, but either on your back with a pillow underneath your knees or on your side with your knees slightly bent but not in ball)
Correct standing position:
- Keep both feet flat on the ground with your weight evenly distributed between your hips
- Engage your abdomen/core to help support your back and carry your weight
- Relax you shoulders and draw them back
Strength exercises that can help with your posture
Yes, it is true! Strengthening exercises can help your correct your posture. If you are looking to improve your posture, try these exercises.
- Chest lifts (Commonly referred to as sit ups or crunches)
We are referring to these as chest lifts because we want to prevent you from straining your neck. Many people tend to curl their necks into their chests when doing sit ups or crunches. It is important to remember that your abdomen is doing the work, not your neck! A strong core helps to support your weight.
Planks are good for a variety of muscle groups including your abdomen, obliques, shoulders, and back. When these muscle groups are properly strengthened, they can help pull your bones into the position they are meant to be in. It is crucial to perform these exercises correctly to help train your body to be in the correct position.
- Back extensions
Your back muscles help you to stand up straight and back extensions help to strengthen the back and glutes.
Are you worried about your child’s posture or are you yourself suffering from back or neck pain not caused by an accident? We at BIO Force would love to help you correct your posture.