You know what they say….Mums are always right!
Remember all those times as a kid when Mum would yell at us to ‘Sit up Straight!’ while we were watching TV. Or the times she snuck up behind us, pulled our shoulders back and pressed her hand into the small of our back to correct our posture?
Yep, she was right about that too!
So what exactly is posture and why is it so important (and not just to Mum)?
Posture is the foundation for every movement your body makes and can determine how well your body adapts to the stresses placed upon it. More specifically (Putting on my Physio hat here) it is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down.
How do you know you have good posture?
If you want an example of good posture, just look at a young child – their back shows a graceful ‘S’ curve and their movements are easy and effortless. As we get older, bad habits such as slouching and inactivity cause muscle fatigue and tension that ultimately leads to poor posture and aches and pains in our body.
Imagine your head being pulled straight up by a string, keeping your shoulders relaxed and your chin tucked in. If your posture is correct, your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should be aligned in a straight line.
Here’s a tip: Stand with your back against a wall, keeping the back of your head, shoulders, and heels touching the wall. Now step away from the wall while maintaining this position – that’s good posture.
Imagine holding a 5Kg bowling ball in front of you with your arms at full stretch, as opposed to carrying the ball close to your body. Which one is harder to do? Of course holding the ball at arms length is not only harder, but will also cause more strain on your arms.
This is essentially what happens when, as CBD office workers, you spend most of your day sitting at your desk with poor posture.
As you focus on the activity in front of you, you tend to protrude your head and neck forward, which causes your shoulders and back to round forward as well. When this occurs, the weight of the head and upper body is no longer balanced over the rest of your body but instead must be supported by increased workload of your neck and back muscles.
Over time, this causes fatigue and strain on your muscles, ligaments and joints resulting in neck and back pain, which is experienced by a large proportion of people who have desk jobs.
What is Postural Analysis?
Here at The Alignment Studio we offer a computerised postural analysis/posture screen as part of our services. With this cutting edge system we can determine which areas of your body are under more strain than others and which muscle groups, joints and ligaments are under most strain. Based on the analysis, our Physios will be able to design a treatment and exercise plan that can best assist you in improving your posture and reduce your pain.
If you would be interested to learn more about improving your posture please call to talk to one of our highly trained Physios about our postural analysis system and how it can help you.
With over a decade’s experience, Jane Lau is a senior physiotherapist with a background in private practice in Australia and overseas. A University of Melbourne graduate and member of the original Collins Place Physio team, she is skilled in treating musculoskeletal and sports injuries, with a primary focus on alleviating neck, back and shoulder pain. With expertise in postural analysis technology, workplace ergonomic assessments and biomechanical screening, Jane is in demand for her comprehensive and caring approach.