One of the goals of any physical therapist is to improve your mobility, reduce pain, and restore function. To do so, your physical therapist will encourage you to stand, walk, sit, and lie is positions that put the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments performing any given activity. The position in which you hold your body at any given moment is called “posture.” Good posture is a term frequently tossed around, but not everyone has an understanding for what it is, exactly. The qualifier of “good” or “bad” posture is a line divided by whether the spine is in a neutral position or not.
A person who has good posture has a healthier spine than those who do not. However, almost anyone is prone to slouching, and they often do so without much thought. Does this mean you’re doomed to back pain? Not necessarily. The good news is you can train yourself to stand, sit, or walk to put the least strain on your muscle and ligaments – the primary benefit of having good posture.
The top 5 benefits of good posture include:
- Reduced low back pain: Slouching for prolonged periods of time puts stress on the lower back, even though you may suspect it takes more energy to have good posture. To help your posture, move frequently. Get up and walk every 20-30 minutes. When you start to feel your muscle tiring you feel yourself slouching, that is the moment you should get up and move.
- Increased energy: The bones and joints are kept in the correct alignment when you have good postures, so your muscles are used properly, and they don’t waste energy. To keep your energy level high, give your postural muscles occasional rest breaks, as they can get overworked and also lead to pain.
- Reduced risk of abnormal wear and tear on the joints: It helps cut down on premature wear and tear of the joint surfaces, particularly weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees. Support a straighter posture by utilizing a lumbar pillow to support your natural lumbar curve while you are sitting.
- Better form during workouts: Having an engaged core and neutral spine can prevent injury. Focus your attention on proper alignment to improve your workout results, and focus on your core strength and balance.
- Less tension in your shoulders and neck: Because you are putting less strain on the ligaments of the spine, you’ll prevent backaches and muscular pain associated with poor posture.