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The importance of having good posture

If you look at the picture, you can see a person with good posture and another with not so good posture!

Our body has two types of muscles - muscles that help maintain our posture, and muscles that produce movement at our joints.

Our postural muscles work at a low level all day long and help us maintain our posture and stay upright. The other muscles help us move and they switch on when we require a larger movement - for example picking up a cup of water. 

Sometimes though, our postural muscles can become weak or lazy. Then, in order to sustain our posture, the bigger, moving muscles need to work overtime to compensate. 

For example - at our neck we have postural muscles that sit close to the spine (think of them as your ‘core’ neck muscles) if these muscles become weak then the bigger muscles that sit on top of these now have to work harder to compensate. When these bigger muscles work more than they should, they have a tendency to become tight and painful. These tight muscles can then cause compression on joints - which can lead to another source of pain. This scenario can happen all over the body!

When we stand and sit with good posture, tension on other structures such as ligaments, discs and   joints is minimised. If we chronically revert to non optimum postures, then these structures are put on stress and then over time can become a source of pain, easily injured or not function properly. 

So hopefully this gives you a few good reasons to start becoming more aware of your posture and making small changes to try and correct it.

Here are a few tips:

  • take frequent breaks from your task (e.g. sitting, reading, driving)
  • rotate repetitive tasks throughout the day
  • make time in your day to stretch out muscles that become tight with sustained postures and strengthen the ones that can become weak
  • have your workstation set up correctly, to make it easier to sustain the right posture

If you have any questions, or would like your posture assessed, please feel free to contact me.