You may or may not know just how important posture is in terms of preventing pain, discomfort and looking and feeling great. Let’s face it, poor posture does not look good!
The way in which you sit at your desk every day or staring at your computer will affect your posture. Emotions also affects how you hold yourself. Do you walk tall and proud with your held up high, or do you walk hunched forward with rounded shoulders, as though you have a weight on your shoulders because you feel tired, depressed or sad?
Can I improve my posture?
Most definitely yes! First of all you need to know what a good posture entails. Secondly, you need to engage in an exercise regime like Pilates in order to correct your posture and to learn how to maintain that posture during the day.
What can happen if I do not correct my poor posture?
- You will develop an imbalance in your muscles, in other words you will end up with tightness or weakness in certain muscles or muscle groups;
- Your abdominal and back muscles will become weak;
- You will start to develop back, shoulder, neck, hip & knee pain; and general aches and pains;
- Nerves and blood vessels become restricted and even our digestion can be affected;
- Shallow (impeded) breathing means that your lungs are not working at optimum levels and providing maximum oxygen
- Injuries, either in daily life like bending to pick something up, twisting and reaching back in the car, or sports injuries
What is a good standing posture?
If you stand side-ways in front of a mirror, you should have a straight line (also referred to as a plumb line) that goes through the following points;
- Lobe of ear
- Through bodies of cervical vertebra
- Shoulder joint (middle tip of shoulder)
- Midway through the trunk (middle of ribcage)
- Greater trochanter of femur
- Slightly anterior to the midline of the nee
- Slightly anterior to the lateral malleolus (ankle)
How can I adjust my sitting posture?
Your chair needs lumbar support. There are props that you can purchase from places like Dischem, alternative a cushion or rolled up towel will do.
Make sure that your shoulders are above you hips and keep your ears above your shoulder – avoid a pokey chin or forward head position.
Ensure that the knees are in a 90-degree bent position (thighs parallel to the floor)
Both feet should be flat on the floor (don’t cross your legs as it restricts blood flow)
Make sure that your computer screen at eye level and not too far away from you so that you have to reach forward in front of you, which will take your shoulders and upper back into a rounded forward position.
Ensure that your wrists are not bent too sharply, which can lead to wrist tension and pain. There are various props available to provide support for wrists.
Do not sit for long periods of time, get up and walk around and do a few stretches at your desk.
What about the shoes that we wear?
The type of shoes that we wear, is very important. Posture starts with the feet. The position of our feet on the ground affects how we stabilize the rest of our body.
Is Pilates the best exercise to improve my posture?
Absolutely yes! Pilates is the perfect exercise to improve posture. Pilates addresses muscle imbalances and focusses not only on the big primary mover muscles, but takes into account the very important stabilizer muscles around the joints. Programs are balanced and tailored to your specific needs.
The following diagram indicates some common types of poor postures: (Credit to: www.fitbodyhq.com/lifestyle/posture )
Does Pilates Dynamics offer any specials or discounts?
For the month of February: book any Pilates small/large equipment group or Yoga class & get your 1st Trial class FREE or book a FREE private assessment (one-on-one)
How do I book a class at Pilates Dynamics?