Where to start
To achieve great posture you have to first understand how your poor posture has developed. In my 13 years as a practicing physical therapist, I’ve seen many patients with postural dysfunction, which is a fancy way of saying their posture sucks! Most commonly I’ll find the underlying cause of poor posture is some type of habitual movement pattern. This is often due to the type of work you do, hobbies you enjoy, or some type of activity that has you moving in a similar fashion repetitively, resulting in some muscles being over active and others muscles not being active at all. Once you’ve identified that activity, we can then work on improving your mechanics to avoid those poor postures.
With our increased dependency on electronic devices we are sitting and more sedentary than ever before, which is often the cause of most people’s poor postures today. You’re probably already picturing that friend, co-worker, or family member that you associate with awful posture. Secondly you’re likely thinking how you never want to look like that!
What you should know
Over time our bodies begin to adaptively change due to chronic poor posturing. This can lead to a break down in the structural stability of our spines, a decrease in muscle flexibility, and a loss of strength. Due to these gradual structural changes, you may be left with less mobility and a loss in your ability to move or do what you once were able to.
How you can fix it
There are some simple things you can do to address these bad habits and avoid any long term negative effects of poor posture:
- Be aware of what you’re most frequently doing throughout your day and identify your downfalls. Often, simple modifications can be made to prevent you from putting yourself at a mechanical disadvantage, such as adjusting your seat and screen height.
- Schedule breaks whether you’re working, driving, or watching TV. Plan times to get up or change your position (this is a great opportunity to stretch out those tight muscles; I recommend 5 minutes once every hour).
- Establish a postural training program, which can be nothing more than focusing on getting yourself in a good upright position. This is a simple task and you can begin with just short durations. I typically recommend starting with no more than 5 minutes and repeating 3 to 5 times throughout your day. From there you can gradually increase the duration until you’re able to complete 30 – 60 minute intervals.
- Utilize modern technologies to reduce your efforts. I most commonly recommend is the Upright Pro (https://amzn.to/2VqEMin). The Upright Pro is a discreet wearable device that trains and tracks your posture. It notifies you through a small vibration when you start to fall into poor postures. This is a great way to train your body how to obtain and maintain good posture. Additionally, it has a tracking feature, which provides real time data to track your progress and assure what you’re doing is working!
- Seek help if pain is keeping you from good posture and not allowing you to move and do what you want.
How we can help
At Activade Health we commonly see patients with these types of issues and have an outstanding success rate utilizing natural (noninvasive) treatments techniques. Our years of experience allow us to quickly identify the problem and get our clients back to doing what they love! Initial consultations are FREE with no ongoing commitment required.
(Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is presented for the purpose of education only. Nothing contained in this report is intended to be instructional for medical diagnosis or treatment.
The information should not be considered complete, nor should it be relied on to suggest a course of treatment for a particular individual. It should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation or the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Information obtained in this report is not exhaustive and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions or their treatment. Should you have any health care related questions, please call or see your physician or other qualified healthcare provider promptly. Always consult with your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this report. )
By Dr. Ken Corcoran, PT, DPT, SCS, CEAS