Thursday, April 23, 2009

Posture

I have always had the physique and posture of Shaggy on Scooby Doo. I grew up being one of the tallest in my class and had the nickname "long arms" . When I got certified with NASM I learned that the correct phrase to describe my bent over posture was not lurpy but rather pronation distortion syndrome.

Posture effects more than one's appearance. Poor posture can interfere with muscle balance, cause strained muscles, neck and back pain, and impair proper breathing. Your posture is affected not only by how you stand, but how you sit, exercise, work, and sleep. Other culprits are large wallets in back pockets, wearing high heels, regularly carrying a heavy shoulder bag on one side of your body. Other little things include holding a phone between your ear and shoulder. Due to technology more people have sedentary work and spend a great deal of time sitting. Slouching over a computer for an extended amount of time is not uncommon for many people.

Good posture allows your body to be in alignment and balanced. If you were to draw a straight line down the side of your body, then your ear, shoulder, hip, and knee should all be in alignment if your posture is good. Having good posture has many benefits. It can help you breathe deeper and easier, it can improve back health and reduce back pain. It gives you a more confident appearance and causes you to look taller and thinner.

Here are some ideas to help you improve your posture:
*Use a swiss ball to sit on to strengthen core muscles.
*Use an ergonomic keyboard and other equipment.
*Stretch periodically if you find yourself sitting for extended periods of time.
*Invest is a good mattress and avoid sleeping on your stomach.
*Use a backpack instead of a shoulder bag since it will disperse weight evenly.
*Keep your muscles toned and strengthened with regular exercise.
*When you work out use proper form and don't neglect certain muscle groups.
*Monitor your stress levels and be aware of building shoulder tension.
*Pay more attention to and take more frequent notice of your posture.

I'm adding improving my posture to my list of habits to work on.

1 comment:

Mary (MEM) said...

I'm "sitting" a little taller after reading this post. Thanks for the reminder, Long Arms!