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Why Healthy Posture is So Important!

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Posture. Just mention the word and we tend to sit up straighter. We think of our mothers harping on us as children, ‘sit up, don’t slouch!’ Yet do we really understand the consequences of both good posture and poor posture? Can we imagine how the world would treat us if our posture were different? No matter what your posture looks like, you are subconsciously being assessed. Not to mention the role posture plays on the health of your joints, muscles, energy and more.

Let us look at this in greater depth. The body is designed to work at an optimal level within gravity. Joints, bones and ligaments are stacked in such a way to use the least amount of energy to hold us upright, to be able to stand or sit effortlessly.

Have you ever watched a young child sit? Do you notice they don’t typically lean back in the chair but rather naturally sit quite straight with no effort? What happens as we go through life that we start to rely on that chair back to hold us up? Or that we stand in such a way as to put more pressure on our entire being? These are some of the questions that started to arise as I became professionally involved in health.

To begin, posture plays a large role in how we approach life. If we are hunched over or in pain from poor posture, it shows. We give off signs of lack of self confidence, lack of intelligence, being overly tired, shyness, and more. In addition, if our posture isn’t optimal, the amount of energy it takes to go through daily life increases exponentially. No longer can we rely on the structural body to hold us up but rather our muscles now must be recruited to fight gravity, causing us to expend a great deal of energy. Our entire being is compromised and energy that should be used to enjoy life is used just to hold us up, literally.

So what really happens? To start, we have become a sedentary society. No longer do most of us make our living by working in the fields, walking long distances, carrying packages, and so forth. Instead we spend long periods of time sitting at a desk followed all too often by sitting in front of the computer or television when we get home. Our bodies have become lazy.

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HERWriter Guide

Great information, Julie, Good posture is so important in maintaining bone and joint health, but most of us benefit from an occasional reminder about its importance.

Readers may also find the following video of interest, in which Dr. Kathy Weber talks about how women can advocate for their own bone and joint health.


October 5, 2009 - 5:46pm
(reply to Pat Elliott)

Thanks Pat. I did enjoy Dr Weber's video. I feel health, nutrition and fitness education is so important! I would love to share my website with both of you: http://julie-webster.com I post regular articles as well as recipes, cooking tips, podcasts and more.

To your health!

October 5, 2009 - 9:03pm

Most people know that there is more to good posture than sitting up straight and holding your shoulders back. People realize that you can't really do that all day. And how does that work when you start moving, bending playing sports. For over 100 years many people have used the Alexander Technique to discover the body's intrinsic dynamic relationships for improved posture, breathing, and ease of movement no matter what you are doing. www.freeyourneck.com

October 2, 2009 - 7:17am

Couldn't agree more - great article examining in detail the importance of good posture. The advice is all spot on. However, my feeling has always been that it's a lot easier to understand what we need to do about our postures than to actually do it - bad habits are hard to break, especially if you're trying to break them whilst also getting on with your work!

For that reason, based on personal experience of bad computer posture leading to back pain, I came up with PostureMinder - award-winning software to promote good posture and healthy working, all day, every day. It can help treat or prevent back pain for most computer users.

To find out more, and to download a free 30 day trial, please visit my website at www.postureminder.co.uk. You'll soon see that PostureMinder helps you to follow the great advice in Julie's article and stick with it to achieve lasting improvements in your posture.

Dr Phil Worthington

October 2, 2009 - 3:13am
(reply to Dr Phil)

Appreciate your comments and recommendations. I have just launched an eBook of appropriate stretches and strengthening exercises, along with details of which muscles need addressing. It also includes video demonstrations of each stretch and exercise. I believe incorporating various techniques such as your work and other movement therapies is important as different people respond to different tools. Here is a link to my book: http://www.julie-webster.com/shop?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_new.tpl&product_id=17&category_id=6

October 2, 2009 - 8:39am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.