Posture is the arrangement of body parts in a state of balance that protects the supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity. (Christopher M. Norris, 2000).
The definition of ‘good posture’ is, “muscles function most efficiently and joints are optimally positioned” (Bullock-Saxton, 1988). In other words, it is one that puts the least strain on bones, joints and their supporting structures.
When postural muscles work effectively, you have a sense of ease and lightness, muscle tone will be normal, unrestrained and unstretched.
The definition of bad posture, therefore, is an inefficient misuse of joints and associated muscles and ligaments. Consequently, there will be associated physical and possibly painful disability.
Advantages of good posture:
· Physical activity is more efficient and well-coordinated.
· Helps to protect the spine by ensuring lifting and handling loads is more efficient.
· Promotes a feeling of well-being.
Disadvantages of bad posture:
· More rapid and sometimes permanent skeletal changes as age advances.
· Muscle imbalance and resulting injuries.
· Less efficient breathing and circulation.
· A more sluggish digestive system.
· Lack of coordination and ability to move with ease.
Posture is affected by gender, personality, mood, age and state of health.
Check your posture:
Is your chin poking forwards or is it lifted too high?
Are your shoulders at the same height or is one higher than the other? Do they round forwards?
Is the arch in your lower back an exaggerated curve or is the curve flattened?
When your arms are down by your sides, is each wrist at the same distance from your hips?
Do both knees point forwards?
Are both of your feet relaxed and flat on the floor?
Is your weight more on the outsides/insides/back or front of the feet?