June 10, 2014
Normal posture is that the ideal balanced position your body should assume to counteract the force of gravity whenever you stand, sit, walk, or sleep. Abnormal or poor posture happens once your body is not receiving proper support in its struggle against gravity. Health issues are frequently associated with abnormal postures such as tension headaches, overuse syndromes, simple weakness, diminished sports performance, and a diminished healing capability when injuries occur. Maintaining a balanced posture primarily depends on 3 factors: your skeleton/joints, your muscles/soft tissues, and the messages your brain sends to your body. If there is an imbalance in the length of one of your your leg bones, or if any of your support joints (ankles, knees, hips/pelvis, neck) don't seem to be moving properly, unequal pressure can occur which may cause postural problems. Weak muscles or lax connective tissues could limit the body's ability to keep up correct balance. and eventually, your brain regulates however your body is positioned throughout the day. You do not need to consciously cue yourself, "Don't tip over!" because as you are standing - your brain will do that for you. However, over time your body and brain could build some compromises on what is best for you by favoring short-run positions (slouching, adapting to avoid painful movements, etc.) that feel stable, however will cause increased postural problems over time.
Sitting is an important part of your posture. Start by placint your feet securely on the ground along with your knees and hips bent to ninety degrees. Pull your shoulders back toward the back of the chair and down toward your back pockets so your shoulder blades move down your back. Correct your pelvis posture by rocking your pelvis forward. Your ears should be in a straight light with your shoulders and hips.
When standing, your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles ought to all be one straight line from top to bottom. Your stance shoulder have your feet hip-width apart with toes pointed forward, avoid having your feet turned in or out. Once again pulling your shoulders back and shoulder blades down is a great postural tip. Most of us now are used to looking down at our phones or computer, so lift that chin up to level and improve you spinal posture.
Proper posture while you're laying down will depend on your comfort. It is recommended you sleep on your side or you back, never your stomach. You should have one pillow under your neck for support, having more will cause your head to be held in flexion for the duration of the night. If you're sleeping on your back you can place a few pillows underneath your knees to elevate them. Laying on your side means you should still use on pillow for you neck, bend yours knees, and place a pillow between your knees.