I have good posture right?
For some people as kids we used to always hear from our parents to stand up straight and don’t slouch. However we never truly understood as kids but as adults we know it’s important. Why is it truly important? When it comes to posture most people take it for granted and think they are fine. Unfortunately bad posture for certain people is the reason for various health issues. This article will clear up the importance of posture and why we should be paying attention in order to correct any issues.
Upper Body Issues
One issue that is often seen is the “Hunchback” or Upper Cross Syndrome. As the name implies the upper spine is rounded creating a “hunch”. This posture leads to rounded shoulders where your arms hang down in front of your body, as opposed to the side. Rounded shoulders also have the thumbs pointing towards each other instead of forward. Another issue is forward head, where if you were to draw a line from your shoulder to your ear there should be a vertical line. When the line is angled forward a forward head relative to the body is the result. Excessive sitting down, like at a desk, is the cause and leads to many issues. Tight chest muscles, Upper Traps, and Levator Scapula as well as Inactive Neck Flexors, Rhomboids, and Serratus Anterior is the result.
Lower Body Issues
A typical issue in the lower body is what we call forward hip tilt or lower crossed syndrome. In this posture you will see the pelvis shifted forward slightly, buttocks shifted back and a curve in the lower back. A common symptom of this syndrome is low back pain. In addition other risks of this syndrome include disk herniation or hernias. The causes of lower crossed syndrome is excessive sitting and poor lower/upper back posture. Tight hip flexors and thoracolumbar extensors as well as inactive abdominals and gluteus maximus is the result. In addition to the lower back there is also over a condition of pronated feet. Overpronated feet is the foot caving in resulting in “Flat Feet”. The arch of the foot caves in due to weak intrinsic muscles. Too much arch support in our feet, obesity and hard pounding of the foot into the ground compound this issue.
Posture is absolutely fixable!
After hearing of all the different syndromes you might feel like there is too much to do in order to correct them. Never fear! Identifying your potential issues is the first step and most important step. The next step is to address the posture issues. Most of the issues talked in this article are completely fixable with a good exercise program. Stretching, corrective exercise and strength training should be the core aspects of that program. Having good posture is attainable so do not get discouraged! Keep at it and you will get positive results!
- Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
- Page, P., Frank, C. C., & Lardner, R. (2010). Assessment and treatment of muscle imbalance: The Janda approach. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.