Posture refers to the way that you hold your position and body. Having good posture is important for breathing and spine strength. However, millions of Americans suffer from bad posture and the pain caused by it. Bad posture can cause anything from back and shoulder pain to frequent headaches and Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) dysfunction. By understanding the causes of bad posture, the condition can be corrected.
Most children are told to “stand up straight” in order to have good posture. While keeping the back straight and tall is the best way to have good posture, it will become increasingly difficult the longer you try to hold the position. The muscles that support the back will eventually get tired and cause the spine and shoulders to sink lower, worsening posture. The best way to counteract this is to make sure that you are not in one position for too long.
The second part of the posture equation is foot placement. It will not matter how straight you keep your spine if your foot placement is not in a natural, comfortable position. Your feet naturally roll inward, causing your knees to bend and your back to slouch. This is the typical position for bad posture. Keeping your feet in this position will tire out your entire body, which will cause further bad posture. Make sure that you keep your feet placed upright and wear comfortable and supportive shoes to help with their placement.
Since posture is predicated on muscle support of your spine and your legs, as you age your posture could get worse. Age can weaken muscles, making it harder to maintain a good posture. In order to counteract the effect of aging on your posture, make sure that you follow an exercise regimen which includes exercises to strengthen the lower back.