• Mike Thiele

Posture - What is it?

What is posture?

To most people, #posture describes an overall body position. Ask people to demonstrate poor posture and many will adopt a slouched or hunched position; ask them to switch to a good posture and people will tend raise their spine, retract their shoulders and raise their chins. Good posture requires a person to maintain alignment of certain body parts.

The postures that we hold provide clues to the condition of our body, injuries old and new and how we feel about ourselves – our confidence levels – how much energy and enthusiasm we have. Interestingly, we all almost adopt the same posture responses to the same emotions.

If you observed 10 people feeling confident, optimistic and energetic, you will notice most standing tall, chests out and heads up. You would observe most with a wide stance, giving a strong base of support. In contrast, if you observed 10 people feeling anxious, demotivated or down, you may notice weight shifted on to one leg, a slight flexion at waist and head looking down rather than up and head.

Good posture

“the state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the supporting structures of the body against injury and progressive deformity”

“when the muscles function most efficiently”

Factors affecting posture

Structural or anatomical


Discrepancy in bone lengths

Extra ribs / vertebrae


Posture changes as we grow old in different adult forms


Posture can change temporarily when alert or subdued

Pain or discomfort can affect posture


Illness or disease


Mal-alignment of breaks or fractures

Conditions causing decrease in muscle tone


Various positions dependent on nature of work


Dependent on various sports / hobbies


Temperature can affect body posture

Social or Cultural

People or grow up sitting cross-legged develop different postures to those sat on chairs


Posture subconsciously matches our mood

Common posture problems

• Lordosis = an increase in the anterior lumbar curve

• Kyphosis = an increase in the posterior thoracic curve

• Scoliosis = lateral curvature

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