Posture is one of the most common things I hear people talk about. My clients tell me that they are ‘concerned about their posture’ or they have ‘naturally bad posture’ or that they ‘they sit and stand in bad positions’.
But why do we think that one posture is better than another? Is it simply because that is what we have been taught for so long that it MUST be true? Is it what we have experienced? Is it the only thing we’ve got to blame our pain on? What if posture is not the enemy. What if, this whole time, we’ve actually been making it harder on ourselves and our bodies than we needed too?
Many research studies have been asking these same questions and the answers they are getting may come as a shock!
THERE IS NO IDEAL POSTURE!
We need to throw away the belief that a perfect posture exists. It doesn’t. The reality is that even if you were in the ‘perfect posture’ and managed to remain there all day, it is unlikely that you would feel any better than if you had been in a slumped posture all day. WHY? Because our bodies need to move! When we are in a posture, certain muscles are contracting and others are relaxing. If we don’t move out of that position for an extended period of time, those same muscles have had to stay working and they can start to get tired! Try holding your arm up in one position for 5 minutes and see how long it takes before something starts aching.
Obviously we can’t avoid positions that we need to be in for work e.g. sitting at a desk, bending over a car bonnet, holding a whipper-snipper – whatever it may be. BUT we can help ourselves by being conscience to change positions when we start to feel muscles getting tired. Even a movement that seems minimal can make a difference on muscles and the nerves that innovate them, or simply getting up and stretching or walking around for a couple of minutes. We can also help ourselves by engaging in a strengthening program that is going to help our muscles and nervous system go the distance at work. If you increase your muscle strength and endurance, you will be able to maintain certain postures for longer without pain, because your body has adapted to meet the demand.
If you need some help or want some more information on this or any other topic, I encourage you to get in touch!