Poor posture makes your body work harder than it has to and predisposes it to injury. Optimal spinal, pelvic, shoulder, hip position enables your body to generate force more efficiently and safely that improves performance in work, sporting or recreational activities.
Can I change my posture?
Many people have poor postural habits that develop from a young age.
This causes joints, muscles and ligaments to tighten up, and restrict movement. Even though this posture is poor is can often “feel” right. Obtaining correct postural alignment can often feel difficult unnatural, but once your obtain correct posture your body learns to use this.
To change your posture you have to dedicate a lot of time to break your old habbit. Even though the exrcise itself is very easy, the hardest bit is remembering to do it! If you are struggling to chage your posture you may need a posture brace or change your chair.
Changes in posture occur for three main reasons:
- Joints and Muscles Stretch
- Postural Muscles Strengthen
- You and your body learn what Good Posture is so it becomes second nature.
Correct posture is all about alignment. The principles are the same for Standing, Sitting and Laying. It is simply a straight line from your ears, to your shoulders, to your hips. Think about a big baloon attached to your head and pulling you upright maintaining a tall, long spine. However, everyone is made differently and getting your posture perfect can sometimes mean modifying this simple principle and having to do specific exercises so you can even get into this position. The best way to assess and treat posture is to see your Physiotherapist. A great investment in injury prevention. Some simple cues:
- Small arch in Lower Back
- Chest Out
- Shoulders Back
- Head Back just a touch (chin tuck)
- Feet flat on the ground
- Equal weight through each leg / buttock
- Shoulders inline with Hips
Postural Taping or Bracing is used to encourage good posture when your memory isn’t strong enough to change your posture. It is simple, easy, effective and very specific for you.
- Have a good ergonomic chair.
- Bottom back in the chair and adequate lumbar support (can add later)
- Shoulders back and chin tucked in a little.
- Hips and knees to be at right angles
For more details on Sitting and Chair Setup please see Ergonomic Office/ Desk Setup
For more detail please see Ergonomic Office/ Desk Setup
The principles when laying are the same for any other position. Maintaining Alignment and Support is paramount. Try and keep a straight back, the legs and arms can move depending on where you find them most comfortable. This means try not to go into the foetal position, have a twisted or bowed spine. A good matress is important. A good matress has a firm base to provide good support and a soft topper to provide comfort and some moulding to the bumps of the body ie. hips and shoulders.
Sleeping is very habitual and like other postures takes time to change and should be done gradually to avoid over-stressing your body.
The three main positions for laying are on your back, front or side.
Laying on your side requires the highest pillow which must fill the gap between the tip of your shoulder and the side of your hear
Laying on your back requires a thin pillow as a high pillow will push your head forward too much
Laying on your front requires a very thin pillow or no pillow and a very flexible neck in rotation. Most people do nothave this flexibility so it is not recommended.
For the best pillow for you please ask your Physiotherapist or Contact Us
Pillows may also be used under (laying on back) or between (laying on side) knees for comfor.