Many times, the importance of a good posture is often overlooked by many, including myself. Most of us tend to be either unaware of our posture misalignment or simply can't be bothered in standing straight. The good thing is that most of us fall under the first category ;)
For me, I wasn't aware of my bad posture until I faced some horrible neck aches earlier, and that taught me a good lesson on the importance of having a good posture. Having a good posture is a preventive measure to many back aches or neck pain. Each of our bones has its own curvature and the muscles attached to them acts according to the movement that we create. Any prolonged improper posture that prevails for a long time will cause disruption to our bodies' proper curvature, and this will cause ache and pain in time to come. Thus, it is important to be aware and our duty to bring our body back to equilibrium.
Before I share more about the different types of common postures, first we have to find out how we are standing at ease. So here's how you can identify what your default posture is through this simple drill.
1. Stand with both feet shoulder width apart, keep your hands by the side and at ease.
2. Close your eyes and start marching on the spot
3. March for about 15s (while marching, think about happy things! They do you no harm anw :D)
4. Stop marching and slowly open your eyes
5. Keeping your body at ease with your hands by the side and feet shoulder width apart, get a buddy to take a picture of your sagittal view.
There you have it, now you can identify which postural alignment that you fall under as you refer to the article below. Alternatively, you can get your friends to snap a candid picture of you standing and that is your default standing posture!
Here are the 4 common types of postural alignment that most of us falls under:
Personally, I am guilty of a Kyphotic-Lordotic Posture. I don't claim to have the best posture and it is always an ongoing process to work on my posture day in day out. But I dare say I now have a better posture than before. I do so by being constantly aware and reminding myself whenever I fall back to my old habits, to which I call it the "lazy posture."
Each posture below will highlight the different strains that we impose on our body by how we stand. This might to help explain why some of us experience nagging ache/pains on our neck, back or hamstrings and so on even though we had no prior injuries.
#1 Kyphotic-Lordotic Posture
#2 Sway Back Posture
#3 Flat Back Posture
#4 This is how you should stand - Balance Posture
Now that you have identified your standing posture, to bring your body posture back to balance is not an overnight fix but a constant effort. But do not be despair, because here are 3 tips for you that puts you on a good start !
1. Make a conscious effort to stand TALL all day, every day. Remind yourself to stand upright especially when you are queuing up for your lunch, standing in the MRT, or just having a casual talk with your friends.
2. Switch sitting positions often. Keep your shoulders relaxed by resting your forearms and elbows on the desk. Add in some overhead stretches whenever you can, this will help stretch out your chest muscles after long hours of sitting and unconscious slouching.
3. Stand up frequently and take short walks. A constant change of movement offloads the strains that your muscles impose on your body. Basically, just move more! :)
Ending off the article with a reminder, to keep our body upright whenever we are using our mobile phones. I am sure most of us are guilty of the following and it is such a common sight to see nowadays. Fret not, it is never too late to correct your posture, one day at a time.