Posture and its benefits to your health
– Posture refers to the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.
– There are many postural types, some of the more common types – check out the picture for reference.
– There is no such thing as perfect posture! Even the best posture held for long periods of time can cause you discomfort or pain. This is because the human body is made to MOVE!
– But there are certainly better postures and positions we should adopt, particularly when doing repetitive or sustained tasks.
What is good posture?
It’s like balancing a bowling ball on a golf tee – the closer to the middle zone the better the distribution of load.
Think of good posture as a sweet spot or a neutral zone in your body and joints. All areas in the body have a sweet spot that they tolerate for a long period of time. Using the neck as an example, if you’re looking down for long periods such as reading a book in bed, looking at your phone or using a tablet, the neck is towards the end of its range and begins to get tired and sore after a short period of time. Similarly, if you were bird watching, painting a ceiling, or looking up for a period of time the neck would also get sore and tired within a short period of time. However, when we are looking straight ahead, and the neck is in a tall position (most daily activities), we can tolerate this for a lot longer, this is the necks sweet spot or neutral zone.
The ultimate goal is to have your spine in the sweet spot more often and break up any sustained or repetitive postures with stretching and movement to break up periods of tension in the okay zone and end of range zone.
What are the benefits of good posture?
There are multiple benefits from having good posture including:
• Distributed pressure resulting in reduced risk of the upper back, lower back, neck or shoulder pain
• Improved breathing
• Improved confidence
• Improved mood
• Improved digestion
• Decreased joint pressure and reduced risk of long term postural or stiffness problems
• Improved concentration
The Friendlies Physiotherapy Service have a walk-in sports injury clinic every Monday from 8.30am-9.30am to help treat patients with weekend sports injuries as soon as possible. Find out more here.