Does Posture Really Matter?

Posture basics

Do you remember your mother always telling you to sit up straight when you were growing up? Why the constant reminder to correct your posture? Why does it matter?

Posture is the position your body holds when you are standing or sitting. An ideal posture for sitting is having your ears aligned with your shoulders, your shoulders aligned with your hips, and your feet flat on the floor. Your shoulders should be relaxed, with your elbows at your sides. Your elbows, hips, and knees should ideally be bent around 90 degrees.

bad posture habits

With the current state of the world, many of us are finding ourselves sitting around more at home. We are working on our computers at home, whether the computer is sitting on top of a desk, a kitchen table, a countertop, or on our laps. We are no longer utilizing the ergonomic positions that our office stations are set up for, but instead, utilizing a “home posture” that is more conducive to our environment. Our postures have become more “bent” or “hunched over,” leading to increases in neck and back pain.

When our posture is “hunched over,” our heads and necks are stretched forward, our shoulders are rounded forward, and our low backs are in a slumped position. This posture leads to strain in our posterior chain muscles, causing them to fatigue. If held for long enough, our muscles can adapt to this positioning, and eventually, lose strength. All this can lead to pain, a decrease in flexibility, and possible injury.

How can physical therapy help your posture?

The physical therapist will assess your posture. You will gain education on how to be mindful of your posture and learn strategies on how to correct it while you are sitting. He/She will teach you exercises to strengthen your posterior chain muscles. He/She can also perform manual techniques to improve your flexibility and decrease any tightness in your muscles. If you are experiencing pain or would like your posture to be assessed, please give us a call at (520) 488-5291.

Written by:

Stephanie Popelka
PT, DPT

Written by:

Stephanie Popelka
PT, DPT

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