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People are sitting too much, slumping at their desks and down to their phones, people hunch over at meeting cross their arms, and don’t set up. There are a lot of business out there talking about how bad posture and sitting in chairs is the new smoking causing all sorts of back pain, neck pain ec. It’s true for some that it does cause back pain, but it’s only a small fraction of what’s really going on, the real problem is actually bigger than that. Sure it does cause back and neck pain, costing companies billions of dollars a year. But it cost more than just that and for your reading enjoyment, here is a list of the ways in witch poor posture is costing workers beyond back pain.
Speaking There are those people who’s shoulders cave and they stutter and can barely get a word out because of the anxiety of having to talk and on the other end of the spectrum are the people who talk all the time but are doing so in a way that is stressing them out past the breaking point. Poor posture actually starts with the with our jaw, if our jaw is tight the rest of us is going to be tight. Personally I used to be terrified of speaking especially in groups I would get really stressed and talk really fast to the point where it was hard to understand me. Breathing was really shallow, and literally it’s was hard to get enough oxygyn.
Self Confidence Slouchy posture can have a huge impact on how you feel about yourself, and on how other people precieve you. On the other hand you can over correct and become stiff and ridgid, it’s hard to relate to someone who too militaristically upright. Neither extreme is very good for your body, and can prevent you from just being yourself relaxed, calm and happy in the moment. On the other hand improving your posture can have an impact on your emotional state.
It’s a habit that’s hard to break Remember when I said that sitting is the new smoking, well poor posture is like smoking in that it’s a habit, we’ve just had our movement problems a lot longer, since chidhood, so they feel comfortable and normal even thought they really aren’t. Our movement patterns are something that we have from a very early age. Children move perfectly but we loose that perfection as we get older as we are made to sit in weird desks at school and taught that exersize is something we need to get a grade on. Oh and let’s not even start talking about how we start body shaming each other, that’s a different blog entry.
It’s why you get so tired Poor posture even though it can feel comfortable, is causing a lot of stress and strain. For example the head should be centered on the top of your spine, if you are hunched forward or your back is swayed or you are really rigid this is not happening. If this is not happening your head witch is like about the same weight as a bowling ball becomes more like wrecking ball to your spine. Just imagine carrying around a wrecking ball you would be tired right?
It makes working out pointless When you work out with bad posture it can lead to bad knees, bad back, pulled muscles and all sorts of shoulder problems. It’s especially bad when weight lifting as if you work out with a shortened neck and poor shoulder use, you can end up without a neck. Also poor posture usually means your not using your joines properly and it’s one of the reasons you can really hurt yourself with those TRX exersizes.
It screws up your body language Ever feel like even though you are smart, have degrees and lots of amazing experiences no one notices you for it? It might be your body language, the thing is, if you slump over at work all day and you over use your shoulders and shorten your neck then it’s hard to tell what’s really going on for real inside because your body hasn’t caught up to your achievments, we leave our body behind to our own detriment. Many people but especially women tend to look younger than they are when they don’t address postural habits. I know for myself this can be frustrating, especially if you are being over looked in meetings in favor of someone who looks and sounds like they have more authority even if they don’t.
It’s not very pleasant for your interal organs When we compress our spines that makes it so our internal organs aren’t really resting like they should be able to do. It makes it so your breathing is shallow, your jaw is tight and may be a reason for many of the hip surgeries out there as poor posture tends to lock the hips makeing it more difficult to move as well as breath. Another big thing is that it causes you to not get enough oxygen.
There is no such thing as perfect posture Posture is a relationship issue, everybodies spine is different, everybody has a different energy that’s all them, if you try and be something you aren’t ,that’s just as bad a slumping over in defeat. It all causes undue stress, strain and leads to a lack of authenticity.
It’s a mind thing Our minds tend to be distracted and in many cases disconnectected from our bodies. In order to change your movement patterns you have to have a conversation with yourself about what that means, let go of judgement and at the same time be open to the fact that even though something seems right it’s actually might not be.
You can’t change it in a day But you can start noticing it, start noticing how much looking down you do, start noticing if you are breating are not, when you go to pick up a pen off the floor notice if you are using the middle of your spine as a weight bearing joint. It’s not, and it’s usually why most backs seem to go out picking up a feather. It’s not really an insiting insident that causes back problems but many many small habitual movements over years and years .
There are a lot of things you can do Besides becoming more aware witch is the first thing, you can also start looking up more, just pick a different place ahead of you that’s not the ground if you are out taking a walk or a run. Also just let go of your shoulders, no need to try and place them anywhere, they will not fall off, and one other thing, take a breath, those two things alone will help. Little things can start to mean a lot if you make a practice out of it. Take just a minute a day to think about your posture and try and do something different, before you know it the whole world looks different.
Who am I anyway? I’m Sara, I’m an expert in posture and body language, I help primarily women who want to let go of stress and step into their power and authority in a way that’s free, easy and natural. I’d love to hear what you think of this article, have you though about your posture at all since you sat down to read it? Let me know.
Sara James, Alexander Teacher www.atvitalbody.com 415-527-8687