When was the last time someone reminded you to fix your posture?
"Sit up straight! Don't slouch!"
You might not think it's a big deal but the truth is your posture is key to maintaining good health.
What Is Posture?
Posture is how you hold your body upright while standing, sitting, or lying down.
The spine has natural curves that form an S-shape. The curves work like a coiled spring to:
facilitate the full range of motion through your spinal column
In order for you to have good posture, you must have:
Good flexibility in your muscles
Normal range of motion in your joints
Strong "core" muscles in your abs, back, and hips
A balance of muscles on both sides of the spine
Awareness of your own posture
What Influences Posture?
The musculoskeletal system influences your posture. This includes your bones, muscles, joints, and other tissues that connect the parts of your body together. It provides form, support, stability, and movement to your body.
Factors that can affect your posture:
daily habits & activities
choice of footwear
Good posture can prevent injury and certain health problems. Poor posture can lead to long-term health issues like:
Lower back pain
Stiffness in your shoulders
Muscle strain or weakness
Nerve and blood vessel constrictions
Loss of bladder control
Sarah is experiencing back pain because she has to stand all day on the job. Otherwise, she's perfectly healthy. What could she do to improve this?
Check Your Posture
How aware are you of your own posture? This video demonstrates how to check if your posture is properly aligned.
Improve Your Posture
With practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down will gradually replace your old posture if you:
Build strong abdominal and back muscles and work on your flexibility so your body can support good posture
Be aware of repetitive postures and holding positions for a long time, and remember to stretch and take frequent breaks
Take part in body awareness and mindfulness activities like yoga, tai chi, and pilates
Work with your health care providers to identify physical activities that will help you maintain your posture, health, and mobility
It’s never too early or late in life to work on improving your posture and how you move.