Mind Your Posture/ Sit Up Straight!

June 2nd, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Did we all have that aunt or uncle figure in our lives who would admonish poor posture?  I think I had a few…a neighbor when I was little, even my last boss couldn’t help but make comments about how I sat as he passed me at my computer. 

I get it.  I need to stop slouching my shoulders.

“Stand up straight!” is at times much much easier said than done.

Why should we care about our posture?  It matters for our psychological and physical health.  Not only has it been shown that individuals with poor posture are more likely to have poor self-image and less self-confidence, but different postural stances reveal muscle imbalances throughout our bodies that have an impact on our bodies’ efficiency and overall joint health.

Working to strengthen your core muscles can help you improve your posture and make it easier for your body to support itself as you move through a pain-free range of motion.  (We love pain-free! We love full ranges of motion!)

Think of your core as a box in the mid-section of your body.  (Think of a low strike zone encompassing all sides of your body, if you’re a baseball person.)  You probably know where your abdominals are already: they are in the box.  The top of the box is your diaphragm (I think it’s easier to think of my bottom ribs because I can actually touch them).  The bottom of the box includes your gluteal muscles and sides of your spine (paraspinal muscles) and torso (oblique muscles) and your pelvic floor.

Got all that? 

Now, take a thinkHow strong is your core box?  Can you take a hit from any side?  Can you hold a plank with all of those muscles activated and working for you?  What happens to your core box when you climb a set of stairs?  When you perform bicep curls with 15lb dumbbells?  When you brush your teeth?

Working to strengthen your core muscles will go a long way towards improving your posture.  Yes, it takes constant vigilance and yes, it requires you keep your computer height at proper angles for your body, and yes, it requires you get up from that computer chair several times throughout the day, but it is worth it!

Thanks to IDEA Fitness Journal, April 2011 “Perils of Poor Posture” for the studies mentioned here.

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