From the National Posture Institute
Many health & fitness professionals refrain from addressing posture. It’s not something they’ve been taught and it’s not an area that typically concerns them. Posture and body alignment are often left to chiropractors. Little thought is given to the habits that lead to posture related problems and if professionals would be more open to learning they’d realize just how serious these issues can be.
While it may seem difficult to discuss posture and the musculoskeletal issues that can arise as a result of poor maintenance it’s easier to identify the habits that lead to them. Here is a list of the top 7 reasons why you might have bad posture. Keep in mind, injuries and birth related incidents were left off the list as those aren’t related to behaviors and can’t be modified like the habits on the list below.
1. You sit too often
If you sit for breakfast, sit during the ride to work, and continue this trend all the way to dinner then you’re more likely to have poor posture and lower back pain. Sitting for hours daily has been linked to higher mortality rates. The scientific community has also coined the term “sitting disease” due to all the effects associated with it.
2. You hunch over when you sit or stand
It’s one thing to sit too often, but it’s even worse when you sit and stand hunched over. The next time you sit or stand, pay attention to the position of your head and shoulders. Are your shoulders rounding forward? Is your head and neck lurching past your body?
3. You stare at your phone or at the ground when you walk
Of course you stare at your phone; your life might even revolve around it. You need your phone to do your work and stay in touch. It’s no surprise that so many have forward head posture or text neck as a result. The excessive bending of the neck coupled with doing so for long periods puts major strain on the ligaments in your neck. What’s worse? For every inch your neck is out of alignment it adds extra weight to your spine.
4. You have tight muscles
All the bending, moving, and exercising you’re purposely or inadvertently doing whether in good or bad posture will cause some tightness in your muscles. If you aren’t stretching and keeping yourself limber it’s no surprise you have tight muscles. Tight muscles can also be caused by activities you do consistently. Take sitting for example, your hamstrings me be tight and shortened as a result of all the sitting. This could then lead to lower back pain as other muscles groups must compensate.
5. You stretch and exercise in incorrect form
Are you positive that you’re exercising and stretching with correct form? If not, check. Exercising and stretching in bad form can place extra stress on your joints and ligaments. Ligaments will become stretched and prone to injury if this becomes the norm.
6. Being in poor posture is comfortable
Sometimes, you know your posture is bad, but you’re so comfortable you’d rather not move. The fact that you’re comfortable in bad posture means your body has already maladapted to it. If you catch yourself performing an activity in poor alignment and it’s more comfortable that way than it’s opposite, you certainly have poor posture.
7. You perform regular tasks in poor alignment
Let’s say you pick up an object or lean over to grab something, do you lift with your legs or your back? What’s your body doing while you wash the dishes or perform some other task? You may not realize it, but there’s a strong chance you perform these and many more mundane tasks in poor alignment.
The easy fix for many of these is to pay closer attention to the position of your body while you perform your daily tasks. You also want to ensure you’re stretching and exercising in good form and proper alignment. For many, they don’t know or understand what that means. If you don’t know about what’s considered good posture or how to fix it then it’s going to be a challenge. Many of the posture related problems are the results of poor habits that can be corrected by forming new habits and diligent effort.
If you’re unsure about posture, need to learn how to fix it, and need to begin correcting your habits, you’re in the right place. Check out our NPI-Certified Posture Specialist™ program. All these concerns will be met with the right answers. The program is designed to help you fix your posture and will teach you how you can help others do the same. Contact the experts at Genesis Performance and Fitness in Thousand Oaks to learn more!