Improve posture, improve function!
Why not try a simple change that can bring instant improvement physically, mentally and emotionally? Resolve to improve your posture when you sit, stand and walk during work, play and leisure time.
Did you know that postural improvement can help an aching neck and back, contribute to injury prevention and improved sports performance, promote efficient breathing, and even enhance attractiveness and confidence? Posture can be defined as the position from which all movement begins and ends. More specifically, ideal posture is the position of the joints from which the body functions most efficiently, and refers to all static (non-moving) and dynamic (moving) postures. Simply put, we must train the body to walk, stand, sit, lie and move in positions that place the least amount of strain on supporting structures during movement or weight bearing activities. So then, developing posture that is functional, is not exclusive to sitting taller, but rather incorporates conditioning ourselves to execute posture efficiently for all positions and movement across a variety of postures.
In our everyday lives, almost everything we do is in front of us and quite easily leads to slouching. Repeat this bad habit constantly over a long period of time and the result is poor alignment, muscle imbalances and undue stress on bones, ligaments and joints. It is only logical then, that improving posture relies on adequate joint range of motion in combination with a well-balanced set of postural muscles. Truly, posture permeates every aspect of our functional lives, but how can we influence improvement? A few very broad suggestions include the following:
- engage in activity that involves movement, coordination and core stability
- introduce activity into activities that normally lack it
- improve the ergonomics of car seats and office workstations
- visualize being pulled up by your head to straighten out
- include strengthening and stretching exercises to target involved muscle groups.
With the exception of adaptive postures, which may have developed in response to an injury, old posture habits can be transformed with lots of practice! Research shows that our nervous systems take approximately 300 repetitions to form a new skill. However, to reformulate a skill (break a bad habit), it takes 5,000 repetitions! Improved posture over the long-term does take commitment and perseverance, but the dividends are huge.