Check out your posture – other’s do! It has often been said that a positive or powerful posture creates peak performance and as a health professional I definitely agree!
If you work at an office or spend any amount of your work day sitting (even in the car), read on as the information I’m sharing here can save you from expensive doctors visits and ongoing body pain.
Imagine a strong, confident person standing in front of you. What kind of posture does that person have? Undoubtedly, the person in front of you is standing tall with an open chest and head held high. It’s a person who looks ready to take on the world!
So how do people see you? Your posture actually says a lot about your personality and conveys body language to other people without you saying a word! When I’m looking a ta client, their posture says a lot to me about how their joints and muscles are working.
Posture doesn’t just create a good first impression and high performance – it’s an essential part of preventing your body from long term pain and injury. Our modern day workplaces don’t tend to help with this! In fact, according to ergonomic statistics, over 65% of employees are suffering from some sort of back, shoulder or neck pain.
As a physiotherapist assessing people’s muscle tone and strength every day, I’ve realised that so many everyday aches and pains can be traced back to poor spinal alignment and posture! Having the right core muscle control (read: strong back and abs) can play a big part in what your posture is doing.
Muscle and ligament imbalances that result from poor alignment can lead to:
- Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain
- Foot, knee, hip and back injuries
- Muscle wasting and weakness
- Difficulty breathing
- Digestion issues
- Nerve impingement (pinching) and compression
Despite the importance of having good posture though, most of us don’t do anything to improve it!
For over 10 years as a professional Physiotherapist, I’ve seen first hand what a poor posture can do which is why I’m so passionate about educating people on how they can avoid pain in their life by starting with correcting their posture.
So what are the 3 keys for perfecting my posture?
Identify what kind of posture you have – are you rounded through the shoulders? Flat through your lumbar curve? To solve the problem of poor posture, you first need to pinpoint the cause. Most postural deviations occur because the muscles that work to hold a joint in place are out of balance. Generally speaking, one muscle group will be too tight and the opposing muscle group will be too loose or weak. For example, if I’m working at my laptop and looking/reaching down and forward for most of my workday, its likely that my pecs (chest muscles) are going to be tight. These muscles attach to the front of my shoulders, so will likely pull them forward, rounding out my upper back.
After identifying your tight ‘flexors’, using daily stretch routine that you can not only use at work, but also throughout your day at home will be important in gradually making the change to perfect posture – remember it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen!
Strengthen your way to perfect posture! The most effective way to correct imbalances after stretching out the over-active muscles is to strengthen the under-active muscles. That’s where Pilates and targeted strength training comes in! Focusing on strengthening between the shoulder blades, mid back and core muscles will guarantee beautiful posture in no time!
Be sure to stay tuned for our Posture Perfect Program, launching in 2018!