Monday, 23 April 2012

Posture - Types of Posture - Factors Effecting Posture - Importance of Correct Posture

So for my first blog Posture seemed a good place to start from as it effects all of us in one way or another.
You have probably heard the phrases "don't slouch" or "stand up tall - shoulders back" at least once in your life. Whether it was your parents at the dinner table or a teacher at school we have all been observed at some point sitting or standing in an awkward position. What I am really talking about is of course your POSTURE!

Types of Posture

A - Ideal or Optimal Posture
This posture type is shown in the picture above as A. This is where the gravitational forces are spread equally throughout the body allowing maximum movement efficiency and minimal wear and tear on the body.

B - Kyphotic Posture.
This is an exaggerated curvature in the thoracic region, giving a hunched over look.

B - Lordotic Posture - also shown above as B
This involves an exaggerated curve in the lumbar spine and can give the appearance of a deeper than normal hollow of the lower back.

C - Flat Back 
In this Posture the lumbar curve is reduced hence the "flat" appearance to the lower back.

D - Sway Back
Here the hip joint is pushed forward of the dotted line (plumb line) you see running through each skeleton.

Factors that Effect Your Posture

There are many  factors effecting your posture, some of them more obvious than others. So lets take a look at a few of them.

WORK - Yes! I'm sure most of you had thought of this one already! If you do a job that involves prolonged spells of the same static position such as driving, working on the checkout or using a computer all day then this can start to effect your posture over the long term.

More and more teenagers are having to seek medical advice for back pain and muscle strains. Sadly this is all too often down to lack of activity combined with a large amount of time playing video games sat in prolonged poor postural positions. Don't get me wrong video games seem fine BUT there has to been some weight bearing physical activity going on on a daily basis for their future health.

High heels, no heels, flip flops, hand bags and rucksacks all impose imbalances on various muscle groups around the body and can shift your centre of gravity which in turn puts unwanted pressure on joints and muscles alike.

I love sport with Rugby and Tennis being my favourites. Different sports have focus on different elements of fitness. When you compare the two I have just mentioned it is easy to see that tennis (and lots of other racket sports) can make your muscles overdeveloped in your hitting (dominant) arm and shoulder. In Rugby more and more players both Pro' and amateur are starting to take a holistic approach to their training with core strength and flexibility being introduced to their training regimes in order to aid recovery and reduce the risk of injury.

The Importance of Correct Posture

Lots of people know that poor posture can contribute to wear and tear on the joints and muscles of the body but it can also have an impact on the function of your inner organs. One example of this is the effect of bad posture on the diaphragm . This is the muscle that assists in our breathing and that is why breathing correctly in Pilates is linked to execution of the movements we perform. Better posture means better holding of your body and this helps muscle function more efficiently.

Correct Posture can also give out the signal that you are a self-confident person. So walk tall stay proud!

Look after yourself, stay flexible.
Best Wishes Jim



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