Both your lifestyle and posture can have an affect on your general wellbeing. The spine is the support of the body, aided by well-conditioned foot and leg muscles.
Changes in alignment of the foot bones will alter the shin and may stress the knee, hip and spine.
Every step you make, your foot takes the impact of two and a half time the body weight.
During exercise, this increases to five times the body weight.
With normal posture, a plumb line can be drawn from the top of the head, through the ear, the shoulder joint, the hip joint, and the ankle. Conditioning is initiated in childhood, and people continue to do things, even if they are bad for them, because of this.
However, we can learn and unlearn ways to sit, stand and move whatever our age. The way a person sees himself or herself, their body type and their genetic make-up will affect posture.
Cultural differences play a major role in determining posture, such as nutrition, climate, lifestyle and training. Psychological factors also have an enormous effect on posture. When we feel fit and healthy, our stance is far better. Posture mirrors our emotions in the same way as facial expression.
Posture is the foundation of the whole body. Movements can become awkward and clumsy, making people more liable to injury. Stresses can build-up in certain areas, whereas other parts will become weak because of inadequate use. The result can be pain in the short-term, and could lead to deformity in the long-term.
Poor posture can lead to the degeneration of the joints, which can effectively alter the biomechanics of the body and trigger osteo-arthritis.
Normal posture can be defined as that in which the organs and systems of the body function at their best.
There is no single best posture for everyone. The varieties of daily activities mean that people use many postures, all of which could be considered ‘normal’. Clothing, especially shoes, movement, the weather, and state of health also influence variations.
For everybody, the best posture provides balance, with minimal strain and maximum support.
Keeping the body in neutral alignment reduces back and neck problems, and needs a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises.
Blog post by Kathleen Turnbull: BA Hons BAWLA MAR FHT CNHC REPs