A lot of people, including our patients at Empire Performance PT, often underestimate the power of great posture, why your posture is so important, and the endless benefits it can have on your lifestyle.
For most people, their time is more than likely spent sitting at a desk, in their car driving, standing up for long periods of time, lifting things, looking after kids, or sitting on the sofa watching the latest Netflix series. If you have bad posture doing these things throughout your day, and it isn’t dealt with correctly, it can seriously affect you and your lifestyle in the long run.
This blog post is full of vital information about your posture, including what it is, why you need a good posture, and how to make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance at lowering your risk of neck, shoulder, and back pain as you get older.
What Is Your Posture?
Your posture is, quite simply, the position of your body.
This is everything from the way you hold your body and the way your arms and legs move when you’re sitting, standing, and even lying down. Having a good posture means that you’re putting the least amount of strain on your muscles and joints, allowing proper blood and oxygen flow, and putting yourself at a lower risk of developing joint and muscle issues in the future.
Why Is Posture So Important?
Our posture is vitally important, by having good posture you relieve pressure off your back, keep your nerves and blood vessels healthy, and support your muscles, ligaments and tendons. People who look after their posture and hold themselves correctly are less likely to experience back and neck pain, which can lead to life-changing problems such as Sciatica.
Having good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, and relax in a way where there is the least amount of strain on your muscles and ligaments whilst you’re moving, lifting things, sitting down, and sleeping.
What Happens If I Don’t Look After My Posture?
Poor posture can cause problems with blood circulation in your body, can cause chronic fatigue as you aren’t allowing your lungs to fill up with oxygen correctly, and cause chronic pain in your neck, back and shoulders.
If you don’t watch your posture and the way you’re moving, this can cause long-term problems, which could end up leading to something called herniated spinal discs (slipped disks), sciatica, and misalignment throughout your entire body. These injuries would make everyday life a whole lot harder.
What Can I Do To Improve My Posture?
There are many things you can do to improve your posture and it’s great that you’re
taking the correct steps to help your health, by reading this blog!
The solution for fixing your posture lies not only in putting some (if not all) of these actions in place, but also by committing to these top tips for the long run. It may not be a quick fix but you will be easing your pain in the long-term.
These healthy habits are something that everyone needs to incorporate into their life.
Our Top Tips To Improve Your Posture And Prevent Back Pain…
Here are our top 3 tips, plus a video from our therapist Ell, to help you improve your posture and prevent you from getting back pain!
1. Sit Up Straight
This tip might seem obvious, but you’d be astonished by how many people go through their day-to-day life slouching, and not taking care of their back. If you have an office job, then adjusting your seating when you’re sat down for a long period of time is the first step to taking care of your back. The features of the chair you
sit on are there for a reason – to make you feel supported!
2. Stand Up Straight
If you stand up at work, then standing up as straight as possible really does help. I know it can feel like a relief to rest your body weight on one leg whilst giving the other leg a break, but this is pretty much how not to stand. Make sure that you’re spreading your body weight evenly across both legs… this helps to keep your posture right and helps you to feel more comfortable while you’re standing.
Get up and move!
The best time to get up and moving is when you feel your body start to slouch a little and you begin to find it hard to keep a comfortable position. Try to get up from your chair every 30-minutes or so and do a few stretches or walk around for a few minutes. Think of this as a tea break for your body, once you’ve done
this, you’ll more than likely feel refreshed and ready to start working again or to get on with your day.
Try to stay as active as possible and ease yourself into exercising regularly.
By: Dr. Tony Tanzi, PT, DPT, CSCS
Dr. Tony Tanzi: Physical Therapist, Triathlete, Runner, Performance Coach