Why is posture so important? Why do we care so much about the position we carry our bodies in? I’m going to share a couple of reasons with you and refer mainly to your spine and pelvis to help illustrate them.
The first is from a more scientific point of view. Research has found that there is a particular position of the spine and pelvis where stress through the joints and tissues has been measured to be the least amount. This is the position where the tension the body is experiencing is best balanced and where the body works most efficiently. We refer to this position as the Neutral position.
Imagine carrying a twenty-pound bag of groceries. If you carry this in just one hand, like the picture on the left, you will be off balance. Some of your tissues will be pulled so taught and likely your joints on one side of your body will be very compressed. The opposite side will feel a pulled or lengthened tension that will very likely end up causing aches and pains.
Now, split the 20 pounds up evenly, like the picture on the right, and carry it in each hand on either side of the body. Your body is much more balanced and you will not be leaning more to one side. This will keep the tension equal and the joints will not compress. This is the sort of balancing of tension I am referring to through your spine and pelvis.
We have a forward convex curve through our neck and lumbar spine and a forward concave curve through our thoracic spine and tailbone.
These curves allow us to move and balance our body parts on top of each other. When these areas curve more than they should and are held like this from day to day, they are no longer in the most balanced position and will be creating increased tension.
This is the sort of posture where someone might be sitting, especially in a slouched position, all day in front of the computer or standing with a very rounded posture. The head is held too far forward, the shoulders have rounded too far forward and even the lower back is round. Increased tension often results in aches and pains in the neck and back that a lot of us are very familiar with. If we don’t want to feel aches and pains then we have to learn about our posture, change our posture and make this change a lifestyle change.
Why did our Mothers constantly tell us to sit up straight? This addresses the second reason why posture is so important. Think about how you feel when you look at someone who has poor posture versus seeing the people who holds themselves up tall and straight. People who have good posture appear taller, thinner, more fit, more confident and exude an overall feeling of wellbeing. We know that there is an integrated relationship between our minds and our bodies so if our body is portraying a confident posture, it can only help our mind-body relationship.