May is Posture Month.
“Sit up straight and stop slouching!” You’ve likely heard this since childhood, but is there such a thing as perfect posture? The answer is a bit complicated. The latest research shows that it may be more important to think about a “balanced” or “dynamic” posture than perfect posture, and we’re also discovering that our ability to change positions and move may be more critical than our static position while standing or sitting.
Why it Matters:
Your posture is made up of a dynamic pattern of responses, reflexes, and habits, not a single position. Gravity, your work environment, and your anatomy all play a role. For instance, sitting for hours on end staring at a computer screen is a perfect example of an imbalanced and challenged posture as a result of ergonomics. Over time, this imbalance can lead to forward head posture, which can cause pain and even degenerative changes in your joints. Forward head posture affects millions of people who spend their days using computers. It places stress on the neck and shoulders and weakens the supporting muscles.
Next Steps: Strength and flexibility play a significant role in your posture. Having good core strength and balancing that strength with flexibility can help you dynamically adapt to your environment. While “perfect” posture may not exist, each one of us has an opportunity to improve our strength, flexibility, and ergonomics to reduce our likelihood of experiencing pain. If you spend your days looking at a computer, let us know. We’ll be happy to recommend a care plan to help you balance the effects of all that screen time.
Science Source(s): Effects of Lower Trapezius Strengthening Exercises on Pain, Dysfunction, Posture Alignment, Muscle Thickness, and Contraction Rate in Patients with Neck Pain; Randomized Controlled Trial. Medical Science Monitor 2020