Want to look younger and thinner and feel great? Stand up straight. It may sound too good to be true, but good posture is the backbone of good health.
Poor Posture and Pain
The body functions as a unit—and when one part of the unit is out of alignment, others follow.
Poor posture is usually the result of poor habits, such as slouching and inactivity. These poor habits can lead to muscle tension and fatigue. For example, one of the most common postural misalignments is a head that hangs forward. The head is actually pretty heavy (10-14 pounds), so when it hangs forward it places unnatural strain on the neck muscles, which can cause a chain reaction throughout the rest of the body.
Put simply, poor posture has sort of a domino effect on the body—and the end result is often pain.
Pain and dysfunction can often be reversed with proper posture. But what exactly is proper posture? Many people mistakenly think that they must throw their shoulders back and chest out to have good posture, but this position can feel artificial and uncomfortable. Good posture should feel effortless rather than artificial.
With proper posture, the head should rest directly over the shoulders in the body’s center of gravity so that you could draw a straight line from the ear through the shoulder to the hip to the ankle. The shoulders and hips should be level, and the ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders should line up vertically in both the front and side view. Pete Egoscue calls this our “design configuration.” This is how we were designed for maximum strength, stability, and range of motion. Deviating from this design configuration leads to dysfunction and subsequent pain.
Improving Your Posture
The good news is that poor posture is often the result of bad habits and bad habits can be changed. All it takes is some conscious attention, commitment, and consistency. If you want to improve your posture, it’s time to retrain the muscles. Gentle posture alignment exercises can be highly effective—with some diligence and practice.
Want to learn more? Jessica Kisiel is offering a Posture Therapy Clinic on Mondays and Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. October 7-24.
Get pain free and improve your performance in daily activities and sports.
Members $90/Non-members $105