Better Posture for Improved Health
- How much energy is required for 'good posture'?
- How does bad posture affect body functions and our wellbeing?
- Read on to find out about the causes and effects of having good or bad posture and the impact on your body … and mind.
Typically, when talking about ‘Posture’ we consider the shape of the body whilst an individual is standing. However, standing is not a static position. A person does not stand completely still, even if trying to do so. Instead, ‘postural sway’, a continual shifting of the body’s Centre of Gravity, pulls on opposing pairs of muscle groups irregularly, causing alternating activity and rest. This helps reduce fatigue and assists in venous and lymphatic return.
For example, guardsmen are instructed actively to induce postural sway by regularly adjusting their body weight from the front to the back of their feet to maintain circulation and prevent fainting.
If posture is efficient such as ‘good posture’, it requires little energy to maintain and causes few long-term stresses on the body. If posture becomes inefficient, ‘poor posture’, active muscle work becomes necessary to redistribute body mass and hold it there. This is an energy-consuming process; energy which is not then available for other purposes. It also subjects the joints of the body to abnormal stresses and dysfunction.
The further the centre of gravity deviates from the ideal, the more energy is consumed by the body. As a result, it is often postural imbalance, which is responsible for low energy states and subsequent ‘ill health’.
In other words, poor posture will adversely affect how the body functions and over time this alteration in function will produce further postural or structural changes.
We all recognise the fact that our emotions influence our posture. Visualise how your posture changes when you feel confident or happy as opposed to depressed, anxious or fatigued. But does the relationship work the other way around? Does our posture influence our emotions?
Poor posture requires more energy expenditure by the musculoskeletal system, leaving less available for body maintenance and repair. The resultant long-term or repeated ‘ill health’ may have an effect on emotional wellbeing producing a spiral of poor health and negative emotional state. There are measurable, physiological effects which may be both the cause and effect of positive and negative emotions confirming that the body is a unity of mind, body and spirit.
Therefore, think positive and your body will follow!
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Page added 25/05/2017