The Importance of Good Posture and How to Obtain It

The Importance of Good Posture and How to Obtain It

Projecting confidence usually stems from a combination of factors. It might be your smile, well-coiffed hair, or a smart outfit, but if your body posture is stooped or hunched, all your other efforts become lost. 

Good posture isn’t just about appearances. Your body depends on proper balance shared between elements of your musculoskeletal system. When posture is poor, unbalanced forces place stresses and loads on joints and muscles beyond those they’re meant to bear. Over time, your health can suffer. 

While Anthony J. Berni, M.D. can help you with orthopedic problems and injuries, Dr. Berni would prefer that you live a trouble-free and pain-free life. Understanding the importance of good posture is the first step. Knowing how to obtain it is next. 

The importance of good posture

Posture is critical to efficient body function. Everything you do, whether it’s walking or swinging a tennis racket, becomes easier when you start from and return to a neutral, balanced posture. 

The core of your musculoskeletal structure is your spine. When your spine is in alignment, all of the surrounding connective tissue, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, are handling a balanced even workload. Lose that alignment, and your muscles must pick up the slack, potentially straining to the point of damage. 

Many of your joints also suffer from poor posture. Uneven hips cause your knees and ankles to compensate, creating unbalanced loads that can also damage those critical load-bearing joints.

Consider, too, that your spine is a series of stacked joints subject to the same effects when posture is unbalanced. Hunching your neck forward at a typical computer workstation not only directly strains your neck, but also impacts the vertebrae below as well as outward to your shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

Achieving good posture

Though sitting or standing up straight is a good starting point, it doesn't ensure good, balanced posture. To restore a solid foundation for your body, consider these additional posture points: 

Don’t make the common mistake of arching your spine and pressing your chest forward. Your spine is in its neutral position when you’re in a comfortable, upright position that you can hold indefinitely, not an “at attention” pose that feels good only when you release it. 

Tips for resetting posture

Your body is made for motion, and holding any position, seated or standing, for extended periods of time can compromise your posture and create far-reaching health consequences. 

If you have a job or hobby that requires long times spent in limited positions, set a timer for 20-minute intervals. Stand, if you’re seated, or sit down if you’re standing. Concentrate on restoring neutral posture for a moment, then return to your task position, again resetting neutral posture. 

Adjust workstation ergonomics to support your balanced position, whether through chair adjustments, monitor stands, foot supports, or cushioned mats. 

There’s perhaps no better gentle exercise for posture support than adding 30 minutes of extra walking to your day. Yoga also provides easy-to-manage exercises that strengthen core muscles. These, in turn, help to integrate good posture, promoting the share of duties between muscles and joints. 

When you suffer from musculoskeletal pain, contact Anthony J. Berni, M.D. by phone or online to schedule an examination. Dr. Berni and our team can help you regain the posture you need to stay healthy. Book your appointment now.

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