What is ‘posture’?
This is a bit of a taboo word lately, and the amount of information out there can be different and confusing. Today we are going to work through this and figure out what it all means!
A simple way to think of posture is how you tend to hold yourself. That is what do you look like when you are standing or sitting. Are you slouching or pulling your shoulders back?
To find out, film yourself!
Set up a camera and make sure you can see your whole body, now record yourself standing and sitting, make sure you film different angles as well e.g. the front of your body, the side and the back.
Pause the video and let’s break down what you see!
From the front:
We are looking for ‘symmetry’ that means, if you are looking at your left foot, is your right foot doing the same? You might see that one of your feet spins out or that the left side of your hip is higher than the right side.
These are differences in your posture!
From the Side:
In an ideal world if we drew a straight line starting from our feet we would see the following:
From our ankle bone, up to the centre of our knee, up to the centre of our hip, up to the centre of our shoulder and up to our ear we are in alignment – just like the photo on the left!
If we look more like the picture on the right, we may be compensating! Our body is very resourceful at keeping us upright, to accomplish this it will use other areas that we may not need to use this might present as tight hips, tight lower back, upper back stiffness to name a few areas.
Having our body in an aligned way more often than not is an ideal scenario as it allows us to be in the best position to move! We are more energy efficient which will look like having less muscle stiffness, tension and pain and more energy!
From the back:
Changes to our posture can happen from every direction. That is why we require all 3 angles to view posture. As you can see from the image above, if our pelvis (hips) moves to the left or right, up and down more so on one side than we will lose some of our bodily symmetry and change our posture.
Why do these changes happen?
This can occur through a variety of means.
- Work – You may sit for long periods or perform awkward tasks (our body adapts and gets more accustomed to these activities)
- Injury – This may lead you to change how you walk, sit, stand to prevent pain!
- Lifestyle – Are you active or sedentary? We are meant to move, when we don’t, we can lose the ability to express our full range of movement that we can potentially have.
- Sports – Again like work, our body adapts to the task at hand, if we play a sport that requires us to use a specific pattern like a golf swing we will get very good at doing it! However, if we don’t do this on the other side over time we can change!
Ok, so tell me how to fix it!
- You need to be conscious of your posture in various situations.
- If you have identified from your video that you favour one side more than the other such as standing more on your left foot than your right. You may have to change how much pressure you put on your feet. Try shifting your weight to your right foot and see how your posture changes!
- You may need to alter how you walk, run, sit by putting more or less pressure on areas such as your feet and hips.
- You need to breath in your new posture!
- We’ve made it this far without talking about breathing but it is important! When you move into your new postures.
- A key role of our body is to breathe. If we restrict this by having poor posture, we may experience tightness and pain in areas of our body such as low back, neck and hips as they will have to move to put you in a position where you can breathe!
- Move frequently:
- Hitting common goals like step targets (10,000 is the recommended minimum at the moment)
- Exercising or just getting up and breaking habits of staying inactive can go along way to improving your posture!
- We aren’t meant to sit for 8-16 hours per day our bodies are designed for movement!
If you are struggling to change your posture or want to improve your movement, feel free to reach out so we can get you moving right!