What are the 3 biggest posture problems (in our humble opinion) that face us today?!
Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Forward head posture
How many times did your mom, dad or teacher tell you to “sit up straight, stop slouching, and put shoulders back?!” If it was anything like our childhoods you heard this often and it’s something you continue to hear all the time in this day and age. Proper posture matters! Why it is important? What is proper posture?
Proper posture is important because it can lead to structural changes over periods of time. Not only structural changes in the body, but it can also lead to changes in their way our brain perceives sensory input such as pain. Our spine is the bodies central support structure that holds you upright and if not taken care of this support structure can crumble. Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Roger Sperry, “...the spine is the motor that drives the body.” According to his research, “Better than 90 percent of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body in its gravitational field. The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy available for thinking, metabolism, and healing.” “...90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.” If you don’t move it, you lose it.
Does this sound like your day? You wake up, sit in your car to drive to work, sit at your desk all day, go to lunch where you sit (or you don’t eat because you are too busy working and work through lunch) then you get back in your to drive back home where you sit down for dinner then again on the couch to relax?
The vast majority of our day is sitting and usually sitting with bad posture. If you’re saying, “Hey! I exercise after work, I go running or I bike.” Then I say, “Awesome!”, but are you doing the proper mobility work to break those bad posture habits you hold for 10 hours a day when you exercise for only 1 hour? If you are not breaking these habits then you are increasing your risk of injury while exercising.
So let’s talk about these posture problems. Anterior pelvic tilt (APT) is when the front of the pelvic drops in relation to the back of the pelvis. APT or commonly referred to as “sway-back” can lead to lower back problems, hip, knee and ankle problems. Here is how to test for sway-back in yourself. Stand with your feet 2-6 inches away from the wall with your butt and shoulders touching the wall. How easily can your hand slide behind your back? If there is no resistance against your hand you are sway-back. This means you are susceptible to low back pain and pain in any of the joints in your legs.
Forward head posture is another common one we see in adults. We also are seeing this more and more frequently in young children. Researchers have even started to refer to this condition as text neck. Normally your head should be directly placed over the shoulders and you could draw an imaginary line down from your ear you should hit your shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle. Forward head posture can lead to headaches, neck pain and trigger points in your neck, shoulders and middle back.
The last posture problem we see is rounded shoulders. This often is related to those who work at computers or at a desk all day. Their arms are constantly in front of them forcing their shoulders to round forward. We see this often in those who spend lots of time in the gym neglecting their back muscles. We are looking at you, gym bro, who only bench presses.
How to live a balanced life on the go. Here is our one thing. Move a little differently than you are used to. Every day don’t forget to move a little bit every hour. The only bad posture is the posture we spend to much time in. If we stay in just a few positions over the whole day we create weakness and dysfunction. You don’t need to go to the gym to move. Move your head, your arms, your legs. Just get up and MOVE!