Bad posture is endemic in today’s society

Global National

Mariana Liska-Mohai, posture specialist says that bad posture is endemic in today’s society.

In part due to the large amount of time we spend sitting down, whether while working on a computer at a desk, or vegging out in front of the television.

Sitting for long periods can also wreak havoc on the alignment of your spine and muscles, particularly if you’re craning forward to look at a screen, hunching over a keyboard, or twisting your head to cradle a phone against your shoulder. Not only can this lead to short-term pain and stiffness, but people who sit for extended periods are also at greater risk of spinal issues, herniated disks and stiffness and imbalances in the vertebrae.

What’s more, prolonged sitting can create muscle imbalances that exacerbate postural problems. For instance, the hip flexor muscles at the front of the legs can become tight and stiff, making it harder to straighten out your body and restricting your stride, while the gluteal muscles – largely unused while sitting – grow flabby and soft. Meanwhile, when you slouch your ab muscles are disengaged, leading to a loss of the core strength needed to support your spine and hold yourself erect.

Other factors which can affect your posture and are common in today’s society are being overweight, wearing high heeled shoes, and sleeping on unsupportive mattresses and pillows, all of which can throw off your alignment and put strain on muscles and joints.

You can train your body and mind to hold yourself correctly, although it will initially take some effort and awareness on your part.

When standing, check your position in a mirror. Ideally, when viewed from the side you should see a straight line from your ears through your shoulders, hips and ankles. Your shoulders should be rolled gently down and back, so that your shoulder blades extend down the back, and your spine should extend softly upward, with the abs slightly engaged to support the back. Your pelvis should be in a comfortable neutral position, so that your hips don’t thrust forward (rounding the back) or back (causing a swayback).

To sit correctly, keep your feet planted firmly on the floor, with shoulders down and relaxed and spine gently extended. Don’t slump or lean forward, and keep your head balanced over your shoulders – don’t strain your neck forward. Make sure your chair and desk are adjusted correctly so that you can sit with elbows bent at 90 degrees and your knees a bit higher than your hips.




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