As a personal trainer a lot of time when working with a new client needs to be spent bringing the body back into alignment. Poor posture has numerous effects on general health including back pain, spinal dysfunction and joint degeneration.
It can seriously affect mobility. For example, if the pelvis is not in correct alignment, then this can limit hip mobility. Poor hip mobility is a common cause of knee pain and injury.
Poor posture can cause the muscles to develop out of balance. Imbalanced muscles can cause joint dysfunction and injury. If the body is in bad posture, exercise can be ineffective, recruiting the wrong muscles, and putting the body at risk of injury.
Poor postural alignment is a common cause of tension, particularly in the neck and shoulders. Forward head posture and/or excessive spinal curvatures can cause headaches.
Protracted shoulder girdle and general slumping can cause decreased lung capacity as space at the front of the body is limited, putting undue pressure on the body’s organs. Other potential issues that can be caused by bad posture is poor digestive health, hormonal imbalances, depression, and the development of fatty deposits in key areas.
So how do you know whether your posture is correct?
Viewed from the side, the ideal postural alignment should see ankle, knee, hip, shoulder and earlobe on the same vertical line. Viewed from the front, both sides of the body should be even, with hips, shoulders and eyes level. You should also only be able to see just the thumb and the first finger of each hand.
Another simple test is to stand with your back against the wall, the heels just touching the wall. Place one hand at the back of the neck, and the other against the small of the back. The shoulders, head & bottom should all be in contact with the wall. There should be just enough room to wriggle a couple of fingers. Too much space, being able to move the hand quite freely indicates that the posture is affected.
A lot of lower back pain can be virtually eradicated by correcting postural misalignment.
Plus, learning to stand correctly is like an instant slimmer!
Tips for improving your posture whilst standing. Think from the feet up. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart. Try not to hold the weight too much in the heels. Make sure that the knees aren’t locked out. Keep you shoulders upright & your chest lifted. Imagine a golden thread running up through the body, pulling you upwards right up to the top of your head and beyond.