Aches after starting back at work? Think Posture!

Andrew Dalwood has once again been sharing his wealth of knowledge with our friends in the media at Good Health. This time he has been offering a quick and easy tip for maintaining a better posture.

Why is posture important?

The body has a position that allows maximal efficiency. Part of this is attributed to the way that muscles function. If a muscle is really stretched out or jammed up it will have to work harder to get the job done.

If you work in an office, or even just around the home have a quick look at the people sitting near you. Would you consider them to be in a good postural position?

One common ‘postural mistake’ is to be sitting with your head forward. That forward head position puts all of the muscles around the back of your shoulders and neck on stretch and jams up the muscles at the front. With the human head weighing on average 8% of your body weight those muscles have to work a lot harder than they should. If your ears are positioned vertically above your shoulders the muscles just have to work on balancing your head, rather than holding it up. Over a whole day at work, school or just around the home this extra work really adds up.

In addition to the effect on muscles, poor posture will also place the joints in a bad position. Many joints around the body will ‘close’ at the end of their range. An example of this would be the elbow. If you go to straighten your elbow you get to a point where it just will not go any further. This is because of the bone of the forearm will be blocked by the bone of the arm. The shoulder can be similar. If you have your shoulders rolled forward the top of your arm bone can get jammed up with the bone that sits just above it. This will lead to discomfort and potentially will start to impact on how you can use your shoulders.

If you are concerned about your posture and are unsure of how you should position yourself follow Andrew’s tip seen in the picture, you could also get friend to take a photo of you sitting or standing to see exactly how you place yourself. If you are still worried or find it difficult to maintain this posture then make an appointment with a friendly physiotherapist at Waverley Park Physiotherapy Centre for some advice and exercises.