“Sit up straight!” – If you’ve ever been a teenager, then chances are you’ve had this phrase barked at you at least once in your life.
As it turns out, our moms, dads, and teachers were right to nitpick. Posture is an important part of our health and wellness. It impacts our body’s basic structure, and therefore, it’s function. Some of the main benefits of having good posture include:
- Preventing wear and tear on many of our bones and joints
- Drastically reducing the risk of neck and back pain
- Reducing the likelihood of injuries
- Allowing our muscles to work more effectively
And despite common belief, good posture is not one-size-fits-all. “Correct posture” is going to look a little bit different for everyone because the angle, shape, and size of our bones are all slightly different. This becomes even more apparent for people who have scoliosis (curving in the spine), or have had spinal fusion. But for most people, there’s a pretty standard neutral – upper spine a little convex, lower spine a little concave.
So why is it that even when we’re past our crazy teenage youth, our posture still slouches forward? Well most of us can blame technology for that one. Because curling over our phones and laptops all day certainly doesn’t help. But I won’t only blame modern technology. Sports can also have a big impact on our stature. Think about a competitive boxer always rounding their shoulders, or hockey players always leaning forward in their skates. Over time, your body starts to recreate these positions as your neutral posture.
So what do you do about it? Exercise! Rounded shoulders and pelvic tilting can usually be corrected with a few strengthening exercises. Check out the video below for two simple exercises to help strengthen your back muscles and help align your body!