Our modern society demands heavy use of technology in daily life. Unfortunately most of the time we spend using technology is also time spent developing poor posture. This issue is about more than visual presentation as poor posture results in strained and uncomfortable muscles as well as pressure on our internal organs. Long term postural misalignment can be challenging to correct but it’s important to try in order to minimize the affects internally and externally.
As the illustration demonstrates, poor posture while seated causes more than the obvious discomfort from strain on the neck and lower back. Excess pressure is put on the jaw, air passage, and internal organs. Between the pressure and misalignment, breathing is compromised and a full diaphragmatic breath is virtually impossible [find out why deeper breathing will make your life easier]. Travelling on down, the compression angle inhibits digestion due to the pressure on the stomach and colon. Beyond these details, the combined effects result in decreased energy and morale.
While standing, the most common postural mistake is to balance on locked knees rather than standing “actively” with a slight knee bend. This teetering is very hard on the ankle, knee, and hip joints while also weakening leg muscles and restricting circulation in and out of the lower body.
In order to make lasting changes you’ll have to remind yourself often to notice your posture and make adjustments if necessary. Muscle memory habits can be hard to break, keep in mind your poor postural habits have been formed over the course of many years and will take time to correct. One mantra I use is to remind myself that my pelvis is the sturdy base for my rib cage to rest on, and my shoulders should rest on top of my rib cage. Personally, I find thinking of my rib cage resting on my pelvis gets me into a slight knee bend while thinking of my shoulders resting on my rib cage engages my core muscles and lifts my head. Here, the first example is proper posture followed by examples of misalignment.
- Feet should face forward and be parallel to one another
- Knees should be slightly bent with knee caps facing forward
- Core abdominal muscles should be activated with bum tucked under pelvis
- Shoulders should rest on top of rib cage with palms resting facing slightly forward
- Head should rest in line with pelvis
Look in the mirror while you work on the right positioning and take note of how it feels so you can replicate the feeling without having to look in the mirror while you go about your daily life.
These are just the basics as correcting posture is unique to each individual. As always, let me know if you have any questions and we can work together to improve your body’s function!