If you ask people around what they consider as ‘good posture’, most will probably say it’s all about the alignment when you sit or stand. Chest out, shoulders back, and keep yourself straight all the time. We don’t blame you if you also think this way… that’s how we are taught as kids after all.
If we go by this definition, there’s really nothing wrong with it but it’s somehow incomplete. Just think about it. If ‘good posture’ is defined this way, then nobody will be able to maintain this type of static posture! Try to stand straight for too long, and your neck and shoulders will hurt. Sit straight in front of the computer for hours, chances are you will still get a sore back. This is because even natural or good postures maintained for any length of time become uncomfortable and eventually painful.
Why does this happen, you ask?
It still takes energy and muscle activity to keep your alignment in a static position. So the longer you hold it, the more tension and stress are being put on your muscles and joints. This is exactly why it makes more sense to think about good posture as dynamic, rather than static. If you are already uncomfortable, there’s no point in trying to maintain a good posture in the same, rigid, static pose. You need to move and change your position before it starts to hurt!
This seems to be the most natural thing to do, given that our body is designed to move. Since the body craves mobility and variation, the best way is to rotate a variety of ergonomic positions and postures. This is called ‘adopting dynamic postures’ which helps break up long periods of static fatigue and stress. To do this, it is highly recommended to change positions at least every 30 minutes.
Best Tips for Adopting Dynamic Posture
As chiropractors, there are days when we are also stuck working at our desks. Hence, the best way for us to adopt a dynamic posture is to (1) use a height-adjustable desk. This allows us to switch between the sitting and standing position, of course, while practicing proper alignment. (2) We also make sure that we do a bunch of stretches and movements throughout the day so that we stay active as possible. Here are some of our favourites:
Aside from these stretches, it is also a good idea to (3) do exercises that strengthen your core muscles. Developing strong core muscles (around your back, abdomen, and pelvis) is essential for maintaining a healthy back, proper posture, and general balance. This is vital not only for sports but also for everyday tasks such as gardening, cleaning your house, or carrying heavy objects. Furthermore, it decreases your chances of having poor posture, lingering back pain, and potential injury.
(4) Practice self-awareness. This is probably the hardest thing to do on this list. Few people realize just how bad their balance is or how much tension they are carrying when they hold a position. The point here is this: you need to pay attention to your body and the signals it’s trying to tell you. When you hold a position, are you feeling comfortable and relaxed? Or are you feeling tensed and pained? If it’s the latter, then you may need to change to a better position.
When it comes to a point where nothing is comfortable for you or it takes straining effort for you to maintain good posture, the best advice we can give is (5) to get checked by us.
Here at Hibiscus Chiropractic, we can assist you with identifying and correcting the root cause of your pain. Whether it is from spinal misalignments, unhealthy habits, poor muscle/core strength, limited range of motion from past injuries, and many others. We can help you improve all of these areas so that it brings EASE to each movement that you make.
Call us today at 022 3914994 to see if we can help. We also have other locations in Auckland which you can contact HERE.