There was a time when our parents and teachers reprimanded us for slouching. They always told us to sit-up straight and maintain a good posture because it doesn’t look good. Some parents even say to the extent that, it’s rude to slouch or hunch our backs. Little did we know that it wasn’t just some cultural norm, but there are good posture effects that can be beneficial for our health.
What is posture?
Posture is the position we assume to support our bodies when we either sit, stand, or lay down. There are two types of posture, these includes:
- Dynamic posture is the position on how you carry your body when moving; e.g. walking and running
- Static posture is how you support your body while you are stationary; e.g. sitting, standing, and sleeping
When you have been doing well with your dynamic and static posture, that means you have good posture all in all.
What’s the difference between good and bad posture?
Having good posture means your spine must be correctly aligned. There are three curves in your spine located in your neck, mid-back, and lower back. To maintain good posture these curves must be in position at all times.
Other parts of the body, such as the muscles and ligaments also play important roles in having good posture.
Postural muscles or the deep muscles in your pelvis, back, and abdomen prevents the forces of gravity from pushing the body forward, while the ligaments hold the skeleton together.
Having good functioning postural muscles means you can experience good posture effects.
Benefits of Good Posture
Good posture means putting less stress on your muscles, joints, and vertebrae when either moving or not in motion. There are good posture effects that might contribute to your overall health and your safety.
The benefits of good posture are as follows:
- Helps keeps the bones and joints aligned, so that the muscles can function properly.
- Lessens the tearing and wearing of joint surfaces that could lead to degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
- Decreases the stress in the ligaments connecting spinal joints together to lessen the risk of injuries.
- It allows the body to use less energy since the muscles functions efficiently, thus preventing muscle fatigue.
- Prevents the spine from being stuck in an abnormal position.
- Prevents conditions such as overuse disorders, back and muscle pain, as well as spinal dysfunction.
Disadvantages of bad posture
Bad posture happens when the spine is in an unnatural position. This causes the curves to become prominent – putting muscles, joints, and the spine to so much stress. Prolonged stress in these areas could cause muscle soreness and chronic pain.
Bad posture can be caused by a variety of factors, such as being overweight, stressed, or pregnant. Being elderly, having weak postural muscles, decreased flexibility, as well as poor postural habits (sitting, standing, walking, etc.) could also cause bad posture.
The disadvantages of bad posture include:
- Poor posture can put a lot of stress in the muscles on your jaw, nape, neck, and upper back, thus triggering nerves that might cause tension-type or muscle-spasm headaches as well as jaw pain.
- You can experience back, neck, and shoulder pain due to bad posture, as you put so much tension in these areas when you slouch.
- Breathing problems can also occur when you practice poor body positioning. When you frequently hunch or lean forward, your lungs will have difficulty taking in air because your rib cage and diaphragm are restricted. This would cause shortness in breathing, reduce lung capacity, as well as fatigue.
- Bad posture can cause your spine to be misaligned and form an abnormal position. When you have poor posture, you are prone to injuries that might badly affect your spine health.
- Your spine’s natural curves must stay in the right alignment. When in a bad posture for a long time, this could cause the curves to protrude leading to postural scoliosis, which can be reversible.
If you have bad posture, making sure to correct it as early as possible can help prevent serious injuries or conditions. However, when there is a prominent problem in your bones or muscles, do not tug or stretch the area by yourself to avoid further strain.
Always see a doctor or a therapist to properly treat the injury.
To improve posture as well as to benefit from good posture effects, try following these steps:
- Be conscious of your postural habits when doing your daily routine.
- Stay fit by maintaining a healthy weight. Gaining extra pounds can cause your abdominal muscles to weaken. This might lead to problems in your spine and pelvis, which can cause back pain.
- Be physically active and do exercises that help improve postures, such as Pilates and yoga. You can also do exercises that focus on strengthening your core, or the muscles that support and keep your spine stable.
- Work in a comfortable area where you can freely move and stretch your body. Avoid slouching when sitting down, especially when working or studying for long hours.
Good posture contributes a lot in order to keep your body healthy. By practicing good posture, you are helping yourself to reduce the risks of acquiring conditions such as osteoarthritis and postural scoliosis.
To get the most benefits out of good posture effects, it is best if you continue to be aware of your postural habits and to correct them right away. Although there are times that you might forget about your posture, constant practice will help you improve. Soon, good posture will become second nature.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.