Some Surprising Facts About
Your posture is one of the first
things other people notice about you and can affect so much more in your life
than just spinal health. Healthy posture has been linked to better respiratory
health and has even been shown to affect your confidence. In this article, we
explore a few other surprising facts about posture.
Ideal posture doesn’t mean having a straight back.
Many people think
having good posture means standing as straight as possible with your shoulders
pulled back. This is actually a relatively unnatural posture and requires a lot
of energy to maintain. Ideal posture, where the spine rests in it’s most
comfortable and strongest position, is where the neck has a gentle curve
backwards, the thoracic is curved gently forwards and the lower back curves
back again. These curves create an elongated ‘S’ shape and can be seen when
viewing a person from side on.
are four common postural patterns other than ‘ideal posture’.
For those who don’t have ideal posture, four
common variations are seen, these are; kyphosis (excessive curve of the
thoracic region), lordosis (excessive curve of the lower back), flat back (loss
of the normal spinal curves) and sway back (where the pelvis is pushed in front
of your centre of gravity and the upper body leans back to compensate).
Each of these postures is often accompanied by
a typical pattern of joint and muscle stiffness that can lead to pain and
injury. Your physiotherapist is able to assess your posture and identify any
ways this may be contributing to your pain. They can also help you to change
your posture with strategies to increase spinal mobility and strength.
movement is just as important as your posture.
While ideal posture has been shown to reduce
the amount of stress and tension found in the spinal muscles, holding yourself
rigidly in one position is also not healthy. Ideally, our spines will be
flexible and able to move through their full range without pain or stiffness.
Regular movement is the key to healthy joints, including the spine. If you
finding yourself sitting or standing for long periods, try to find time to
stretch as well as working on your posture.
Personality type has been linked to postural patterns.
A study by S.
Guimond and others in 2014 showed a surprising link between personality type
and posture. They found that extraverted personalities were much more likely have
an ‘ideal posture’ or excessive spinal curves than Introverted personalities
and introverted personalities were more likely to have ‘flat’ or ‘sway back’
postures. They were unable to determine if personality influenced posture, vice
versa or there was a hidden third factor such as pain.