Physiotherapists like to preach about the importance good posture with regard to pain and flexibility, but what exactly is good posture and how can we achieve it?
Posture refers to the positions we hold our limbs and trunk in at any one time. Posture can refer to static positions (eg. sitting, standing or lying down) or dynamic (eg. walking, sporting positions and daily activities). How we hold ourselves during any sporting or domestic activity or rest is thought to have an impact on the amount of strain our joints and muscles are placed under and ultimately our physical comfort and performance. ‘Poor’ postures are therefore the postures which are thought of as placing unnecessary or excessive strain on our bodies and ‘good’ postures as those which reduce the strain and physical loading, hence reducing possible aches & pains.
Here are some tips to practice good postures every day:
* When sitting, try to ensure you sit right back in your seat to ensure adequate trunk support from the chair back,and place both feet flat on the floor. Imagine a piece of string coming up from the crown of your head drawing you up towards the ceiling to lengthen up through your spine. Relax your shoulders down and back away from your ears, keeping your chest open across your collar bones.
* In standing, again imagine the piece of string lengthening you up through the crown of your head and another piece of string drawing your tailbone down towards the floor. Shoulders should be relaxed away from your ears and open across the collar bones. Try drawing your shoulder blades together and slightly down towards your lower back to achieve this open shoulder and chest position. Draw your tummy muscles in gently and stand with your weight evenly spread through both legs, feet hip distance apart.
* Once you have practiced good standing posture, try incorporating these elements into walking, essentially maintaining good positioning despite the perturbing impact of walking etc.
* If you are involved in a sport, it may be a good idea to get someone to check your technique to ensure you are maintaining a good posture for that specific sport. Ultimately, the aim is to reduce the risk of injury or repetitive strain due to technique issues.
With all static postures, regardless of how good your posture is, you still need to make sure you are moving around regularly to avoid getting stiff and developing aches and pains.
For more information or coaching on good posture, call 01413530906 today to speak with or book an appointment with one of our highly qualified physiotherapy staff. Appointments available across our 5 clinical sites – Glasgow West End (G3), Mosspark (G52), Clarkston (G76), Newton Mearns (G77), & Kirkintilloch (G66).