DOES YOUR POSTURE AFFECT HOW PEOPLE SEE YOU?
Posture affects how people perceive you. Just as someone with good posture sends nonverbal signals of confidence, healthy, resilient, powerful and energetic. This person stands tall with their shoulders down and next to their bodies and head held high. Assessing their body language, our perception is immediately that this is a successful and responsible person who acts with integrity.
On the other end of the spectrum, people with poor postures demonstrates rounded shoulders, rounded upper back, and a hanging head. A person with this posture appears uninterested, tired, lethargic, timid, weak, incompetent and uncertain.
When we meet with clients, colleagues, or potential bosses, the poor posture is definitely not an impression we want to create. A person with good posture (head up and shoulders back) will not only improve your health but have an impact on your chances of success.
We often use the phrase “sitting is the new smoking” and a lot of people in South Africa and around the world spend a lot of time sitting. In addition to the health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle our bad posture can affect our health, mood, productivity and success.
Let us ask ourselves this question, how many slumping CEO’s have you seen? Picture yourself walking into a room. What is the first thing you are likely to do? Of course we start making assumptions about the people in the room. We start looking at a persons’ clothing and their physical appearance. Apart from that we start interpreting their body language and this is where posture fits in, as it gives an indication of their personality.
What are poor posture patterns?
When it comes to posture correction, it is important to consider every aspect of the body, from the position of the feet, to the tilt of the head.
Flat feet or high-arched feet; pronation and supination are posture problems that can cause your entire biomechanics chain to go out of balance. The position of your feet, legs and knees changes the way they distribute pressure and weight. Gait abnormalities can cause strain on your entire body.
We sit for long periods of time each day, which has a bad impact on the posture and creates this rounded upper back and shoulders syndrome. This slouched back posture is also created due to a lack of energy and poor sitting habits.
Flat Back: (reduced curve in the upper and lower back)
Muscle imbalances in the body because of poor sitting habits and/or long hours of sitting at our desks, can result in this posture. Hip flexors are long and weak, low back extensors are weak, hamstrings, glutes and rectus abdominals are short and tight.
Hyperlordosis: (increased curve in the low back)
Muscle imbalances in the body because of poor sitting habits and/or long hours of sitting at our desks, again can result in this posture. This posture is associated with long and weak abdominals, tight hip flexors, tight aback extensors and long and weak hamstrings and glutes.
Sway back: (fatigue)
This is referred to as the “tired” or “lazy” posture. This posture is often caused by tight hamstrings and back muscles, weak abdominal muscles and laxity in some of the pelvis and back muscles. Sitting for long periods of time can cause these muscles to tighten.
Short, sitting for many hours with poor posture may turn off your stabilizing muscles such as your back muscles, glutes and abdominals. When these muscles are not regularly activated and used, it can lead to weakness and poor posture.
What can we do to change our postures?
- We need to engage in postural corrective exercises, to correct muscle imbalances in the body.
- If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, take regular breaks to move and stretch throughout the day.
- Surround yourself with people in a healthy environment.
- A few lifestyle changes can affect your physical as well as your mental health. Posture also affects confidence in your own opinions and abilities.
What is the best exercise method to correct poor postural habits?
Pilates is known to be an excellent method to correct posture. Not only does it improve posture, but it also brings an awareness of where our bodies are in space and reminds us during the day to keep moving and fixing our postures. Pilates is a full body workout and therefore an additional benefit is a toned, strong and flexible body. Many people claim that they have become taller by doing Pilates. Now you too can get that taller and toned look by doing Pilates.
How do I get started with Pilates?
Contact Pilates Dynamics on: 011-792 5459 or 072 999 2229 or email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org to book your first class. Beginners are welcome! Our well experienced and knowledgeable Pilates instructors will take good care of you.