Does our posture really matter?

How would you describe your posture?

There are many reasons why clients decide to join my Pilates classes.  One reason, that I hear quite frequently, is Posture.  They may describe their posture as ‘slouching’ or ‘rounded’ and they hope that Pilates can help them to ‘stand up straighter and taller’.

So, does our posture really matter?

Let me start by saying that we are all unique individuals, and therefore there is probably not ‘one size fits all’ in terms of an ideal posture.

However, I do think it is worth thinking about your individual posture longer term.

Our bodies love movement, and we were designed to move in many ways.  However, there are increasing environmental factors which mean we spend more and more time in fixed positions…….

  • Many of us sit /or have sat immobile at a desk for long periods of time, looking at computer screens.  This often leads to slouching through the shoulders, rounding of the spine and/or chin poke.

 

  • We might enjoy gardening but find that after a day of weeding or planting we feel very rounded through the shoulders.

 

  • We often enjoy relaxing on our sofas and armchairs in the evenings (and these lovely comfortable seats are not exactly promoting good posture).

 

  • When driving we usually find ourselves getting fixed in a ‘rounded’ position for the duration of the car journey.

 

  • The use of mobile phones and other portable devices also tends to encourage rounding of the shoulders and chin poke.

 

  • Our posture can even be influenced by what we wear (including what we wear on our feet and how we carry accessories such as heavy bags).

I’m not trying to say that we give up gardening, relaxing on our sofas or sitting down; but I believe that the downside of these environmental factors is that we get stuck in a particular position for long periods of time.  When we stay stationary, the muscles stop moving through their optimum range of movement, and this might contribute to a change in our general posture over time.

So, I think that posture does matter, and it is something that I keep in the back of my mind as I go through my day.

One suggestion for maintaining or encouraging the ‘ideal posture’ for YOUR body could be to move regularly; especially if you have a hobby or work that generally puts you in a ‘fixed’ position for any length of time.  Stand up, move around, stretch….do something that moves your muscles in a way to counteract your fixed position.

Of course, you could also give Pilates a try as well!

More Insights