Yes, good posture is about looking good, but it’s not all about that. A good posture is more about body statics and dynamics.
According to the Mayo Clinic, when you adopt the right posture, your spine is strong and stable. But when you’re humpback or out of the posture, your muscles, bones, and ligaments struggle to keep balance. This leads to fatigue, back pain, muscle pain, headaches, and other health problems. If left unchecked, bad posture may lead to permanent bone disorientation, muscle deformation, and weakness.
Your body is just another machine
The human body is a machine and it exactly works the way any other machine does. Do you know what machine designers spend most of their time during the process? Balancing static and dynamic forces. When these forces are slightly out of balance, machine parts fail under impact forces and dynamic loading. As a rule of thumb, anything that is a combination of parts and does motion needs anatomical perfection.
The same goes for the human body. But, lucky enough, our bodies are not as rigid as machines are. We are more flexible towards deformation and can tolerate weight imbalances. In spite of all that flexibility we have, extended periods of bad posture has the potential to leave devastating effects on the body.
So, what is a good/bad posture?
When we talk about posture, we generally talk about not more than 3 things_ the backbone, neck, and chest. Other body parts and body segments already have their confined motion paths and can’t be subjected to unnecessary distortion.
So, in very simple terms, a good posture is obtained when only those groups of bones and muscles are engaged in an activity that actually need to be engaged. In other words, if some bone and muscle groups are engaged when they shouldn’t be, that’s bad posture. Bone and muscle groups because they always work together and never engage individually.
Let’s look at one example in each static and dynamic postures to understand this even better.
The body segments are placed in relatively stationary positions, such as when you are sitting, standing on your knees or laying down.
Good posture: When sitting comfortably, your back muscles are designed to relax while anonymously providing the needed support. If your back is flat and chin raised high enough, you are in a correct posture.
Bad posture: In the same above example, if you are sitting humpbacked and head dropped or any one of them at one time, you are actually exerting unnecessary stretches on the back muscles, bending the backbone, and pressing the skin under your chin to expand. That’s a bad posture.
Body parts move and must respond to external conditions, such as when we walk, run, jump or lift something off the ground.
Good posture: Again, take the very simple example of walking. During walking you need combined action of your backbone, upper and lower back muscles and hip muscles that fade out into the lower back. If you are walking head raised and back slate flat, you are in the correct posture. In this posture, you are allowing all the necessary segments to work in cohesion in their natural mods of motions providing each other the necessary support.
Bad posture: If you are walking head dropped or with a bent upper back, you are actually disturbing the whole combined action mechanism. You are partially disengaging the support your lower back and hip muscles get from your upper back muscles and a straight backbone.
How serious should you take it?
Not really, and it depends. If you are more concerned about how you look, you can take it as seriously as you wish to. But if you are concerned about how bad a bad posture can be for your health, well, it really isn’t as bad as it sounds to be.
While it’s good to keep a good posture for everything we talked about above, a bad posture doesn’t pose any obvious health risks. However, once you start feeling pain and fatigue, you should really look forward to correcting it. And no worries if you start feeling pain like the lower back pain. Your bad posture didn’t damage anything yet, it’s just the start and you can correct it with some simple exercises and by remaining conscious about your posture.
12 Exercise for a good posture
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