Watch Your Posture, Because Others Do!

Good PostureWhat is posture? It starts when you young with your parents constantly reminding you to stand up straight, stop slouching, suck your tummy in (like the girl in the holiday photo) etc… As you get older you the reminders just come from other people including your chiropractor, but what is the big deal about posture?

Watch Your Posture

Posture is the position in which you hold your body, while you sit, stand and even lie down. If you maintain the correct posture you place the least amount of strain on your supporting muscles and ligaments enabling you to function optimally. Maintaining the correct posture has numerous beneficial effects namely:

  • Prevention of muscular and back ache
  • Decreases the chances of developing arthritis by loading your joint evenly during weight bearing activities
  • Allows your muscles to be used optimally enabling you to fight muscle fatigue
  • Decreasing the stress placed on your ligaments of the spine preventing your vertebra from becoming fixed in abnormal positions
  • Most importantly, a good posture contributes to a GREAT APPEARANCE!

The Three Spinal Curvatures

Your spine has 3 very important curves which enable even distribution of your weight. These curves are the:

  1. Cervical lordosis (hollowing of the neck),
  2. Thoracic kyphosis or (arching of the mid back) and
  3. Lumbar lordosis (the hollowing of the lower back).

In order to maintain the correct posture these 3 spinal curvatures need to be properly supported in all posture positions.

Correct Sitting Posture

Since it’s almost inevitable that about 80% of people spend at least 8 hours a day sitting this is possibly the most important posture to correct.

To have the correct sitting posture just following these easy steps:

  1. Make sure you remove all items from your back pocket before sitting down
  2. Push your buttocks right to the back of the chair, this will prevent you slouching
  3. Make sure you support the hollowing of your lower back. This can be achieved by either using a lumbar support pillow or simply a small cushion that fits in your lower back. (Make sure that the cushion isn’t too big that it makes you lean forward)
  4. Correct the angles. When sitting it’s all about the ‘90 degrees’ when working at the computer. Your chair should be adjusted to the correct height enabling your knees to form a 90 degree angle. Your desk should be at such a height that when typing comfortably on your computer your elbows form a 90 degree angle.
  5. Finally relax your shoulders and make sure your head isn’t protruding forwards, your ears should be in line with your shoulders.

Correct Sleeping Posture

Sleeping in the correct position is vitally important to the well being of your body. Sleeping is your body’s only chance to ‘restore’ itself and get some much needed rest.

Mainly there are 3 different sleeping positions, lying on your stomach, lying on your back or lying your side.

How does sleeping on your stomach affect your back?

When lying on your stomach 2 things happen.

The first problem is the arch of your lower back is increased causing the joints between your vertebra, called facet joints to ‘jam’ together. This predisposes these joints to become locked in this position inevitably resulting in lower back pain.

The second problem occurs in your neck. As you lie on your stomach your neck is forced in an extreme rotated position. If you sleep with a pillow you add neck extension into the equation. The result is jamming up of the facet joints in the neck predisposing to the development of neck pain and tension.

So taking note of your posture is going to be good for you in the long run.