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Hands up if you feel tired? Hands up if you sit at your computer and feel a big effort to sit up straight? Hands up if when you are stood cooking or at a drinks party you feel achy and can’t understand why simply standing is such hard work? Is it a challenge having a slow mooch around the shops and are you always looking for a place to sit down for a break?
These are all things I hear every day at work. Why do we find such simple things like sitting and standing so hard, uncomfortable and even painful?
Lets go back a step. Our beliefs about posture and how we should sit and stand have a lot to answer for. Were you told from a young age “head up, shoulders back” or how about “boobs out, bum in”? “Sit up straight”, is a classic! Do you remember Jane Fonda constantly telling you to tuck your tail under during her exercise video’s? These “cues” for supposedly good posture have been rather detrimental for most of us.
You try so hard to make your posture better but the majority of you who come to see us want help to improve it further. When we want something we assume we just need to try harder….Here’s the big HUGE thing for you to know……
STOP. Do the total opposite. The one thing I want you to do is soften to let go. Not only to the beliefs that good posture is hard to achieve but that it should be effortful.
Good posture is effortless, light, easy and relaxed.
Optimal posture in sitting or standing has a normal “S” shape spinal curve. It’s designed to be this shape not ram rod straight or tilted backwards for “chest up”. Let your shoulder blades rest on your ribcage so they move with your arms not be drawn down your back and stuck on you like postage stamps.
Optimal posture is about creating a wonderful still point in which your body can go anywhere. It’s balanced, in equilibrium. In standing, optimal posture has a plumb line from ear through shoulder to hip and ankle. Weight should be distributed evenly on your feet from right to left and front to back. In the “head up shoulders back” position what we actually do is lift the rib cage and chest up at the front, tilting it backwards. The outward curve in this region is lost changing the loads through our body and spine. This causes us to work much harder in our muscles and increases the compression in our lower back. No wonder this position can be uncomfortable, sore or painful and make movement feel harder and feel stiffer. Now start gardening in this position with increased load going through your arms……
SO, my “One Thing” for you to do this week is to try LESS hard with your posture. Soften it. Let it go a bit and see how your body feels.
“But I now feel I am slouching” I hear you cry…. Yes you may feel this but your brain is playing tricks on you….More on that next week! Obviously if you have any concerns or want to chat further about this please give us a call or email now on 01548852355 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you. It really isn’t as hard as you think to have better posture.