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Sit Up Straight and Stand Tall
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Sit Up Straight and Stand Tall

by Ed Cardinal, MSPT

 

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind clear and strong.” ~ Buddha

“Sit Up Straight and Stand Tall” is something we often heard from our parents, teachers and other adults growing up. If you were anything like me, you might make the corrections while they were looking and then return to your slouch when they were out of sight. “What do they know?” Well, now that I’m more educated about the ramifications of poor posture and the benefits of good, I realize they were onto something.

According to Cleveland Clinic “posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.”

Correct posture:

  • Keeps bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
  • Helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
  • Decreases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
  • Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
  • Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently allowing the body to use less energy.
  • Prevents strain or overuse problems.
  • Prevents backache and muscular pain.
  • Contributes to a good appearance.




Correct Standing Posture

 

Millions of people in offices and homes sit in front of their computers for many hours each day. Computers are an integral part of our lives. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed 34% of all lost-workday injuries and illnesses are work-related musculoskeletal disorders. They include the increase of headaches, protective muscle guarding, neck, back, shoulder, and hand pain in addition to carpal tunnel syndrome. Neck muscles react strongly to stress, and this tendency can be further aggravated by sitting at a desk all day. Faulty postural habits from hours of sitting incorrectly creates a “tissue issue” effecting your fascial system. What is fascia you might ask? In anatomical terms it’s known as a connective tissue webbing that is densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery, and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain, and spinal cord. (see photo)



“The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one continuous structure that exists from head to toe without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia.”1  Poor posture causes your fascial system to become fixed in an imbalanced structure which will put certain muscle groups into a state of chronic tension. Gradually this dysfunctional pattern will become engrained into your nervous system.

The key to relieving chronic physical challenges created by poor posture is to release the harmful physical patterns that lead to these dysfunctions, and replace them with healthier ones. This will reduce the unhealthy tension in the soft tissues in the body. A wise working and resting regimen in combination with consistent stretching (Yoga), strengthening, and corrective bodywork will allow your structures to realign and improve your overall mental state. Replacing the poor patterns with good habits can contribute to vibrant health and happiness. Don’t expect instant miracles. However, with consistent effort you will feel that your new plan will be helpful.

 

1John F. Barnes, PT

In Good Health,
Ed Cardinal, MSPT
Owner, SOL Integrative Wellness

ed@edcardinal.com



 

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