Do you have the perfect posture? Do you know what the perfect posture looks like? Without trying to over generalise, if I were a betting man I’d guarantee that both of those answers were no!
Posture is something that is hard to obtain and easy to lose. Throughout life, whether it’s from parents or teachers, you’re always told to sit up straight and stop slouching! Sound familiar? Although at the time it appeared as though they were looking for any excuse to have a go, and that they probably were, despite their intentions they did have a valid point.
For some reason, unbeknown to me, individuals nowadays love to slump and love to slouch. Whether this is in front of the television, at the dining table or even during a less then thrilling meeting at work! The problem is posture is important. Maintaining a good seating or standing position ensures that you remain anatomically correct.
Why does this matter? Maintaining you head, shoulders, spine, pelvis and feet in alignment might not seem top priority to you, but if neglected over a period of time can cause numerous health and medical problems. Take your chest and back region for example. Continuously slouching forwards will cause your chest musculature to tighten and your back muscle region to loosen. This can result in both musculoskeletal injuries and imbalances to name but a few. You might also experience lower back problems which exacerbate problems in your lower limbs. It is an interlinking chain that can cause serious implications when not functioning correctly.
So what is the perfect posture? When standing your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles should all align with each other as if a line was running through your body. If on first glimpse this doesn’t appear to be the case, fear not because FitnessBeans are here to talk you through achieving this alignment. Initially heighten your chest region whilst simultaneously pulling in on your abdominals. Throughout this you should notice a natural and shallow curve in your lower back.
After this initial stage has been perfected look to align you shoulders and hips. Any deviations can quickly be rectified to achieve this alignment. Finally, look to place your knees shoulder width apart and allow both feet to be pointing straight ahead. You have now achieved a position which is considered anatomically correct.
For many, myself included, this position will feel uncomfortable and require some getting used to. Although subconsciously you might readopt a slouched posture at the soonest possible opportunity, you really will reap the benefits in the long term if you persevere.
Next time you’re standing in a queue, sat at your desk or even exercising at the gym; take a moment to consider your posture. If for whatever reason it’s not correct, make the necessary changes immediately. Eventually, like everything else, it will become second nature. After all, good habits are learnt as quickly as bad habits, so why not make the change today.