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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


Scoliosis

Discrepancy in bone lengths

Extra ribs / vertebrae

Age


Posture changes as we grow old in different adult forms

Physiological


Posture can change temporarily when alert or subdued

Pain or discomfort can affect posture

Pathological


Illness or disease

Pain

Mal-alignment of breaks or fractures

Conditions causing decrease in muscle tone

Occupational


Various positions dependent on nature of work

Recreational


Dependent on various sports / hobbies

Environmental


Temperature can affect body posture

Social or Cultural


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

Emotional


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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