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What Your Posture Says About You

Signs and Effects of Poor Upper Body Posture

If you've ever felt persistent neck and back pain, or experienced sharp shooting pain or a tingling sensation in your arms, hands, or fingers, it might be due to your posture. Poor upper body posture is characterised by a combination of tight and weak neck and shoulder muscles. It can also be a culprit behind certain headaches, dizziness, and shoulder ailments.

When we overuse certain muscles, they become shorter and tighter. As a result, the opposite muscles get stretched out and weakened. This imbalance can affect your joints, leading to a recurring cycle of muscle dysfunction.

Insight: "Poor upper body posture has a direct impact on joints and often leads to a cycle of recurrent dysfunction and muscle overuse/underuse."

To minimise strain, consider adjusting your workspace or desk. Remember, the journey to better posture involves pain relief, stretching, strengthening, and rehab.

The Importance of Good Posture in Children

Children undergo rapid growth in their early years. Their posture, crucial during this phase, influences their skeletal and muscular development. By the age of 10, most of their postural systems are set.

Good posture ensures that the force of gravity is evenly distributed across their body. This prevents undue stress on any single structure. Instilling good movement patterns early on is pivotal to averting structural changes and risk of injuries later in life. As habits formed in childhood often persist into adulthood, it's crucial to emphasise good posture from a young age.

Insight: “It’s easier to maintain good postural habits in children than it is to fix the problems they cause in an adult.”

Common Culprits Behind Bad Posture

  • Hunching or rounding shoulders whilst seated
  • Excessive downward gaze, like whilst using mobile phones, tablets, or gaming consoles
  • Lack of diverse physical activity
  • Extended periods of sitting
  • Wearing rigid or constraining footwear

The Fallout of Poor Posture

Incorrect posture can lead to:

  • Back, shoulder, and neck pain
  • Fatigue due to added tension and strain on compensatory muscles
  • Headaches
  • Structural and postural changes
  • Alterations in gait

In essence, your posture is a reflection of your overall health and habits. Taking the time to correct it today can save you from a host of problems tomorrow.