Let’s talk about posture
Posture is important for all of us!
We all adopt habits in our lives. Modern living, comfy sofas and chairs all encourage us into “relaxed” slouched postures that don’t support and help look after our spines. There’s a great quote by Joseph Pilates that says “If your spine is stiff at 30, you are old. If it is flexible at 60, you are young.” For many of us we lead sedentary lives, sitting at desks/office jobs and movement is not happening.
Movement is key to our bodies remaining healthy. Posture is important to allow our vital organs inside room and the ability to function. And yet, the majority of us still slouch.
Because of what we do day in, day out.
Have you ever sat still for ages (possibly in a slumped position) and then got up to move and felt a shooting pain down your leg? It’s not the standing up that caused the problem, it was the sitting down in a bad posture for a prolonged length of time.
Naturally, our brain will tell us moving is dangerous as it just causes me pain, when in fact, movement is medicine and static positions and bad postures are dangers.
This section highlights…
– Why slouching is not good for us
– That’s it’s important we become more aware of our postures so we can move into better ones.
– The superpower postures that help you gain body confidence
– Why posture matters and the link to neck/shoulder pain and your bra
– Many youtube videos on how to improve your posture
– Desk based sitting top tips video
Remember 30 years of sitting badly is not undone with 30 days of movement. It’s a gradual habit we all need to work on improving.
The interesting thing about posture
POSTURE is an interesting one.
During my time as a physio it always dumbfounded me a bit if I’m completely honest which sounds bizarre as you would think that would be my forte. It wasn’t. But now, with a lot of Pilates training, I am all for postural awareness and encouraging others to devote time to their own posture.
Postural changes can catch a lot of pregnant ladies out and for many may lead to pelvic girdle pain due to altered spine and pelvis positions. Simple strategies to make you aware of your changing body shape and education about what is and isn’t normal can all help ladies remain in control of their expanding waistlines.
Post-baby, your body and posture WILL CHANGE.
Your ribcage has expanded to accommodate your growing baby, your tummy muscles will have lengthened and separated to some degree and once the baby is no longer a bump, you often find yourself in a state of no man’s land wondering what to do.
In today’s modern world everything is fast-paced. We spend more time sitting than doing and more time staring at screens than moving. For our posture, this is BAD NEWS. Regular changes of position and returning to an upright posture is of paramount importance if we want to avoid bad backs, necks or body injuries to peripheries such as wrists.
Your posture can affect many things. It is powerful and says a lot about you.
It can portray confidence and shyness, it can improve your digestive system function or compromise it, it can prevent body aches and pains or contribute towards them and it can improve your general health and wellbeing as if we stand/sit taller, we breathe better, we feel more energised and are generally more productive and able to focus.
So WHY is it super hard for most of us to have good postural HABITS?
Comfy sofas, comfy chairs, the stereotypical images of being cool if you slump at school, sitting up straight was geeky (or it was in the North!), mobile phones, electronic devices, repetitive bending and lifting in bad ergonomically ways, and so on.
As the pace of life gets faster, many of us opt for comfort to keep up.
But, POSTURE MATTERS!
Your posture can have a direct link to your pelvic floor function. New research by Diane Lee using ultrasound imagery has seen amazing differences that your posture can make to your pelvic floor function.
We can all work to improve our postures.
Just like we can all make an effort to strengthen our pelvic floor muscles.
First, you need to acknowledge your posture, move your body, realign your spine and thank yourself for noticing.
It’s a lot easier SAID than done!
Set yourself a posture challenge, notice it, change it, feel the difference in a few weeks. It takes times to break a lifetime habit but this one is worth the effort in gold.
If you need motivation, get yourself an image of a person with a severe hump in their shoulders or a terrible head position on their body in old age. It affects their eating, their ability to move, their body aches and pains and their day to day function and quality of life.
Posture is one for the long road and it’s WORTH every second of your attention.
Your Body Language may shape who you are – Amy Cuddy
There is a fabulous TED talk by Amy Cuddy who is a social psychologist called “Your body language may shape who you are”.
She talks about how your body language affects how people see us but it can also affect how we see ourselves. She explains how “power posing” which is standing in a posture of confidence even when we don’t feel confident, can boost our feelings of confidence which may, in turn, have an impact on our chances of success.
I think we all know that when we slump, we crowd our vital organs, we feel sluggish and it’s not long until aches and pains creep in. Equally, if we look at others who are slumped over it does not portray confidence, it might even portray unease.
The hunchback of Notre Dame springs to mind. Is everyone sitting/standing a little taller now?
When we stand taller, we feel taller and when we breathe deeper, we feel expanded. These postures allow us to lengthen our spine, expand our size and with that comes an air of authority and strength. We breathe more oxygen in and expel more carbon dioxide out. We are more efficient within our bodies. Yet, many of us find these positions hard to maintain.
Posture is a habit. Not many of us practise it well. Exactly the same as our pelvic floor exercises!!
Go take and check out my Pelvic Floor page for more support
When was your last bra fitting?
I want to touch a little bit on breast health here.
There are a staggering number of us wearing the wrong bra, 93% in fact! Add in menarche, pregnancy, breastfeeding, post birth into the mix or on repeat over several years, illness/injury perhaps, peri-menopause and then post-menopause we need regular fittings that adapt with us and our life-changing events.
A good bra should support and uplift our breast tissue. An optimal bra fitting combined with postural awareness greatly improves breast position. More importantly, it improves posture, reduces back, neck and shoulder pain, can reduce your dress size, improve your self-esteem and allow you to participate in exercise improving your overall quality of life.
Your bra packs a lot of goodness in it IF it fits correctly!
We all know that exercise is like a wonder drug for many ailments and yet for many, it is impacted by poor breast tissue support. One physio is on a mission to reduce the barriers and is paving the way with her posture matters business to help get more awareness out there.
Siobhan O’Donovan is a physiotherapist in Ireland who has phenomenal knowledge around all things BRAS and BREAST TISSUE health.
You can find her at website: https://www.posturefittingphysio.com
When did you last get your bra fitted? And that doesn’t mean measured in a shop, it means actually fitted into the correct sized bra for you? For me, it was FIVE years 😳!
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