Good posture for good health you may even live longer

Good posture has health benefits far greater than most people know

The far-reaching health benefits of good posture you may not even realise. People with great posture hold themselves well, tall and confident. People with good posture suffer less from back, neck and shoulder complaints. People with good posture have a greater endurance allowing them to concentrate on given tasks for longer, thus giving the person a competitive edge. People with good posture tend to be healthier, fitter and more productive resulting in a richer life experience ultimately equating to living longer.

Ask yourself can you afford not to have good posture?

Posture is the position in which you hold your body against gravity, & correct posture is the position in which the least amount of stress is placed on your joints, muscles & ligaments.

Maintaining good posture requires muscles to be strong, flexible & easily adaptable to environmental changes

Correct posture will help you:

  • Keep bones & joints in alignment so that muscles are being used properly
  • Decrease the rate of abnormal wearing of joint surfaces
  • Decrease the stress placed on ligaments that hold the joints together
  • Prevent back ache & muscular pain
  • Prevent fatigue because the muscles are working in balance
  • Prevent the spine from becoming fixed in one position
  • Keep looking good!

Here are some pictures of correct posture, and some common problems:

Most postural problems relate to poor postural habits, rather than to significant structural problems such as bone deformation. Poor habits often develop in individuals who stand or sit for long periods, & so begin to slouch.

Posture is usually checked in three views – from the front, back & side. From the side, the ear lobe should be in line with the tip of the shoulder & the middle of your hip joint. The knees should be straight & not locked back.

From the back, the shoulders should be level & the head in the midline. The shoulder blades should be symmetrical, the buttock crease & knee crease should also be level (if they are not, this could mean that one leg is longer than the other).

From the front, the shoulders should be level & the head not tilted or rotated. In most cases, the shoulder of your dominant side is lower than the other side. The tip of the nose should be in line with the breastbone & bellybutton. This line should divide the body evenly into left & right. Waist angles & knee levels should be equal on both sides.

Treatment of postural problems normally involves a combination of techniques. “Hands-on” treatment to mobilise stiff joints & release tight muscles will be accompanied by exercises to stretch tight muscles & improve your “core stability” by strengthening weak muscles that are important for maintaining your posture.

Just remember that good posture, although it may take some effort to achieve, will help you move better, prevent pain & stiffness, & look better as well

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