Why Does Good Posture Matter?
by: Bill Easter, PT, MPH
“Sit up straight, get your shoulders back, stop slouching, you have bad posture,” we are told, but what does it all mean and why is posture so important? If you are standing in a crowd of people or a clinic and someone mentions posture, there is a knee jerk response,and people will simultaneously stand in an erect position for 5 maybe 10 seconds, looking around with guilt expressions on their faces (echoes from our parents or our primary and secondary school days). Posture is firmly engrained in our minds but remains very elusive and often misunderstood.
Good posture is the position in which we hold our bodies, sitting or standing, with the least amount of stress or tension on our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and organs. Posture is dynamic, meaning it is always changing due to the influences of gravity, life stresses (emotional and physical), illness, or injury. Poor posture has adverse effects on the systems on the systems within our locomotion, impaired circulation (vascular and lymphatic), decrease flow of energy through meridians, the flow of information through the nervous system, as well as tightening of fascia/connective tissue.