The importance of posture for health


How many times have we been the target of the typical expression "stand up straight"? We always thought that the reason for this command was to improve our appearance ie. be more attractive!


It is true that our appearance improves when we stretch and adopt a more upright posture. But this is not the most important result. Through better posture our body gains balance, our muscle groups are more relaxed and in general our whole body works better.


Although each person is different and not all of us have bad posture, it is true that getting used to maintaining a good body position influences our balance and well-being.


Body posture is related to numerous factors. There are “external” influences that cause poor posture such as stress, lack of activity, obesity, pregnancy, muscle disorders and even the footwear we use.


But individual traits, personality, and a person´s state of mind can also result in poor posture.


Don't worry, it is an aspect of our health that can be learned and modified through exercise.


What is clear is that there are many benefits from maintaining good posture. If you are able to stand upright, with a straight back, you will avoid muscle and bone problems, headaches, back pain and respiratory problems.


How to achieve correct body posture


I am going to give you some recommendations that we at Livebetter Massage share with our clients on how to improve our day to day actions for better posture.


Changing the way we walk, sit, work or sleep are ways in which we can improve our health and have a happier life.


Correct posture is achieved by symmetrically aligning all the limbs of the body and the head around the axis of gravity. Curves should not be exaggerated and weight should be distributed equally on each of the legs.


When sitting


The back should be straight, the tail well supported on each thigh, the shoulders back and down, and the soles of the feet resting on the ground. You should avoid the habit of crossing your legs, as it alters the position of the hips and worsens blood circulation.

If you are working at a desk and in front of a computer, the ideal is to put the screen at eye level to avoid lowering your head and arms should be at a 90 degree angle resting on the table.


Adapting your workspace will be one of the best decisions you can make. You can read my recommendations for this in a previous post https://www.livebettermassage.co.uk/post/working-from-home-how-to-create-your-workspace-with-postural-security


When standing


Back straight, chest up and abdomen slightly contracted, since the abdominal muscles are what help to stabilize the body. The knees should also be placed semi-bent, making sure that the weight of the body is well distributed on both legs.




Walking


Keep your head up, your neck and back straight, shoulders back and avoid looking at the ground. Use your arms to walk and promote balance.


Correctly use your feet by stepping with the heel and then the sole up to the toes.




When sleeping

Posture at bedtime is very important. There are several versions, but I lean towards these two:


On your side, with your legs tucked up, as this is the best way to keep your spine in a proper position. What we call the fetal position, has been, and is, one of the most recommended and traditional sleeping positions. Try not to put weight on your lower extremities and it is advisable to put a pillow between your knees.


Studies recommend sleeping on the left side rather than on the right as it favors lymphatic drainage, digestion (due to the position of our intestines and stomach) and blood circulation, better oxygenating our cells.


Face up. When we sleep on our back, we help our neck, head and spine to adopt a neutral position. This pose, unlike the fetal or side pose, avoids the pressure of having to bend the spine.


The pillow you choose for sleeping on your back is very important. When choosing a pillow you should take into account the space between the shoulder and the neck. The head should be supported without putting pressure on the shoulders. Pillows that are too high or multiple pillows can cause a stiff neck or cervical problems. It is better to choose a pillow that is not very high and fluffy. There is a great variety of them. I recommend the anatomical ones with memory foam. These types of pillows adjust to your position whether you sleep on your back or on your side.


Other tips that will help you maintain a suitable posture and lead to a healthier life are to control excess weight. A healthy diet with adequate calories for your level of activity will help you to feel and sleep better.


Exercising to strengthen your muscles will provide them with elasticity and the ability to effectively adopt a proper posture. Pilates, yoga and swimming are recommended activities to strengthen our abdomen and back.


As we have seen, taking care of our posture is essential for proper body health and will provide us with a healthier life overall.


Receiving a massage after an intense week of work and stress helps to relax muscles and tendons and gives us more elasticity and flexibility so that our rest is more effective.


Recovering faster from weekly exercise by eliminating toxins from your body and helping you to prepare for your next exercise session is what we do at Livebetter Massage.


You can book an appointment via the website or email us at info@livebettermassage.co.uk for further information.


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