Do you suffer from posture problems? Your posture is so important as carriage reflects breeding, strength of character, and alertness. Find out the facts about posture and how to correct your posture problems.
Your body is held in various positions by your skeletal muscles. Movements are possible because of muscles pulling on bones. If you have ever noticed a crane working on a construction site you will know the beam of the crane is somewhat like the bones of your arms and legs. Cables push the movement from one direction to another. Muscles in your body can be likened to the cables. The skeletal muscles, or voluntary muscles enable movement and connect one bone to another.
There is no denying good carriage is very important. When you first glance at a person you naturally notice how he or she is carrying themselves. Carriage reflects our alertness, breeding, and strength of character. The parts of the body will be balanced when good posture is present. When standing the neck, shoulders, lower back, pelvis, and hip joints all should be in line with one another. When sitting, the hips and back of the thighs should support weight and the feet should be flat on the floor. The lower back should be supported by the back of the chair.
To achieve efficient movement it is necessary to maintain holding your skeleton together through the ligaments and muscles of the body. The organs in the body have a spatial or relative relationship to each other. It has been determined good posture will be developed when it is possible to conform to good balance in daily activities including work, playing, sitting, walking or running.
The manner in which you choose to sleep is of major importance as over your life span you perhaps will sleep one third of the time. There cannot be one perfect position for sleeping, but certainly some positions should be avoided. When sleeping the spine should be in a normal curve and sleeping on the stomach should be avoided. Using a pillow or pillows that are too high will not be good for your body. While sleeping on the back there should be support under the knees. If you choose to lie on your side be sure to keep your knees bent and have your pillow just high enough to keep your neck straight. An excellent secret of good posture is changing positions during your period of sleep. The body usually automatically changes positions as you sleep. It is very rare for a person to fall asleep in one position and to wake in the same position without changing positions during the sleeping period.
Good posture can be established in childhood through good habits as it is very hard to master these habits after bad posture has existed for many years. Parents should do their very best to teach their children good posture habits in the early childhood years. A child can easily learn the correct way to sit at the table or at a desk while studying and doing homework. When a child is allowed to do his homework or to study while lying down he will form the habit of poor posture at an early age. By noticing how the child is standing a parent can make suggestions and corrections that can be followed for better posture. Schools can provide proper seating and teachers can show students the proper manner in which to sit correctly.
Not all types of physiques are the same so this makes it impossible to standardize the human body. The best posture for each individual will be determined by the individual's body structure. There is considered to be a standard for each type of physique. Each person will have individual body curvatures that will be different from the other. It is possible to inherit weak ligaments and muscles making parts of the body more prominent than others. Bodily structures can be suppressed in the body build of one person and not in another.
It is necessary that there be a conscious decision to achieve the most perfect posture and to form the habits of checking your own individual posture. Of course in daily life there will be times when posture will not be considered. There have been several studies at various research facilities that have revealed a definite correlation between good health and good posture. Having good posture can be a contributing factor in preventing disorders such as menstrual abnormalities, foot problems, arthritis, and also backaches.
The major causes for poor posture need to be mentioned as these can be due to many factors including inherited or organic defects, faulty habits, clothing or fatigue. There are many people who have inherited limbs of uneven length, crooked spines, defective bones, weak muscles, or deformities such as bowed legs or constitutional disorders. Sometimes even malnutrition especially during the childhood formative years can be a contributing factor in poor posture. For the majority of people having poor posture it is due most likely to faulty or bad habits in sleeping, walking or sitting. Fatigue can be a common cause of bad posture as habits of slumping can be from muscle relaxation. Having a profession where one deals with delicate work requiring very close concentration can be a factor contributing to poor posture. Sometimes a person can also have poor vision that leads to faulty posture as it would require leaning over to read.
There is a common type of poor posture caused by postural defects due to curvature of the spine. There exists in the human body four curves, two are present at birth and these are the sacral and thoracic. As a person matures and grows two others are added, the lumbar and cervical. With these four curves the balance of the body becomes maintained. If the spine if perfectly straight these curves can be seen when viewed from the side. This includes both a view of the front or the view from behind a person.
Poor posture can affect the health of a person as there exists a cramped position of the internal organs in the body. These organs consist of varied abdominal, the lungs and the heart. The body cannot function normally if the organs are pushed against each other by the presence of poor posture. The circulation of the body is slowed down and ligaments can be strained. When the body isn't functioning normally then the diminished blood flow can lead to chronic disorders. When the blood isn't allowed to flow as it properly should then other parts of the body can become congested with blood. The pelvic organs can suffer if other organs are sagging. If a person tries to read by looking down too far or by looking up too high then the eyeballs can become distorted. Poor sitting habits can lead to bad reading habits and also then to defective vision. Neuromuscular fatigue can result from poor posture and cause the body to have less energy. The joints become strained and become also painful. Often in later years a person can develop severe pain from backaches caused by many years of poor posture. A person can also become "pot bellied" with constant fatigue and stretching of nerves in the spinal cord. The abdominal organs in the body can also sag. Sometimes the result of poor posture can be a great deal of foot pain as the feet fatigue very easily.
Over a period of years the habits that have been formed in sleep, sitting, or walking can have an effect on the skeleton. The spine has bones and cartilage disks that are very sensitive. There are hollow bones in your spine called vertebrae that are stacked one upon the other. There are many major nerves that enter and leave these spaces between the vertebrae and if damage has developed over many years to the cartilage disks or the bones then the nerves can become pinched. This causes pain to occur that can feel like an electric shock to certain areas such as the legs, back, shoulders or neck. This can be prevented by the practice of good posture.
The manner in which you sit, stand, or walk will determine the quality of your posture. The efficiency of your body will depend on your having good posture. The weight of your body will be distributed more evenly along the body's center of gravity. Each bodily activity such as sitting, reclining, running, or walking will require a different posture. Each activity if accomplished correctly will allow freedom of movement with the least use of energy.
Many elements can effect posture such as diet, weight, feelings, sleeping habits and fitness. Often people who are tall will walk with their heads down and their body bent thinking others will see them as not being so tall. When standing, the body should be erect but not stiff, controlled and also balanced. Support should not be necessary such as standing against a wall or a chair. One might practice standing in front of a mirror to obtain better posture. The weight of the body can be shifted to one leg or the other and can caues a standing posture that is a "hunched" position leading to bad posture.
Special attention must be given to the feet as they are very important to having good posture. Wearing shoes that are comfortable and fit and also being aware of these features instead of adhering to the current style will help posture. There are so many shoes to be found on the market today that are not proper footwear as they can easily cause back strain, poor posture, and also injuries to the foot. A common foot problem known as the fallen arch, or flattening of the arch of the foot can cause pain in the arch, ankle, and also in the lower leg muscles and can be a leading factor in poor posture.
Having regular natural exercise daily including in activities that help to maintain good posture can be very beneficial. There are a few exercises that can strengthen muscles such as the ones below.
The body can be trained to keep parts in proper alignment by standing straight with the back against a wall letting the head, shoulders and hips touch the wall. The heels should be about four inches from the wall, no less than three. The back can slide up and down the wall as far as possible while keeping your balance.
For the spine to be exercised and to remove excess curves, lie on the back and bend the knees over the body, bringing the forearms around the knees and clasping the tips of the hands together holding the legs together and rocking the body from side to side.
The abdominal muscles can be strengthened by sitting on a low bench with the feet under the edge of a bed, then lying back on the bench slowly lift the trunk of the body with the abdominal muscles. This will also help an over bluging abdomen.
Lying on the back with the lower legs resting on a chair with the arms folded across the chest. Lifting the hips a few inches off the floor first letting the weight rest on the shoulder blades, returning the hips to the floor, taking deep breaths. Then by slowly exhaling the air the spinal curvatures will be strengthend. Another exercise in this same position can be achieved by extending the legs on the floor, taking a deep breath, and then raising the chest high and contracting the abdomen.
Bicycle exercises can be done with the legs in the air, using first one leg and then the other to pedal in large circles. The legs must be kept in the same plane and the knees must not touch as they pass from one to another. The legs should not swing sideways in their movement.
To exercise the spine and to remove curves, one can lie on the back and bend the knees over the body, bringing the forearms up around the knees and claspign the tips of the hands together to hold the legs together then rocking the body from side to side like a cradle.
Excellent posture can be obtained by regular exercise as stated above and by just being aware of the need for practicing good posture habits. The quality of a person's life especially in later years can be determined by a lifetime of good posture.