Today my alarm woke me up at 8 am. I was lying on my stomach, hugging a pillow with two pillows under my head. With tired eyes and a weary body, I entered the washroom.
I brushed my teeth with stooped shoulders. Got ready, ate my breakfast in a position that I can’t really define. It was something between sitting and laying down, you can imagine. Then I sat in my car with the seat fully reclined back and drove to the office.
Ahhh my office chair, fully reclined back and comfortable like nothing else. Tossing and turning, leaning on my laptop at times, and fully reclining back at others I passed nine hours in the office. Drove back home the same way and fell on the couch the moment I entered my home.
Ate on the couch again, slept again, and woke up on my belly again. Ohhh I forgot to mention one thing, I often get my back massaged too but never consulted a physiotherapist. It pains sometimes, God knows why?
Well, God knows but you should too. Living in today’s world we are either on our laptops for work or are on our phone for leisure. Throughout we sit or lay down in the worst possible postures because they seem comfortable at the time. But these poor postures can cause lifelong defects and god forbid can impair normal movement too.
If your mother or grandmother ever told you to sit straight and you got annoyed, you shouldn’t have. Sitting, lying, and standing in the correct posture can affect your bone shape and overall health.
Here is all you need to know about correct posture
Symptoms Of Poor Posture
- Stooped and rounded shoulders
- Bent or wobbly knees while standing
- Leaning forward or backward head
- Back pain
- Body pains
Implications Of Poor Posture
Poor posture can interfere with muscle tissues, muscle movement, muscle strength and length, and nervous system feedback.
1- Muscle Fatigue
Your skeletal muscles are made up of two types of muscle fibers. Static muscle fiber and phasic muscle fiber. The former is present in the deeper layers of your muscle and helps you maintain posture without putting in too much effort. These are used to maintain balance while phasic muscle fibers are used for activity and movement.
The former usually burn energy slowly which allows them to work for a long time without tiring out. On the contrary phasic muscle fibers use more energy and get tired quickly. Poor posture puts more stress on phasic muscle fibers and this causes the muscles to tire out resulting in muscle fatigue.
2- Weakened Muscle Strength And Compromised Length
As mentioned before poor posture demands more support from the phasic muscle fibers. This causes the deeper supporting muscles to waste, due to their lack of use. The lack of use causes the muscles to weaken and contract, resulting in the shortening of them. The shortening of muscles can affect the spine, worsening the posture even more.
3- Impaired Feedback Mechanism
The deeper layers of the muscle are responsible for sensing your position and transferring this information to the brain. When your posture is bad, the function of transferring information to the brain is taken over by phasic muscle fibers. ‘
This causes your brain to get an incomplete picture. The brain perceives this incomplete picture as a need to prop the body to counteract gravity, so the brain triggers further muscle contraction. This over contraction of muscles multiplies the fatigue and pain of a person with an already poor posture.
How to Improve And Maintain Good Posture
- Follow the rule of curve reversal ie stretch on the opposite side. For instance, you have been leaning on your desk for a long stretch backward after a while.
- Exercise regularly to improve muscle strength and increase flexibility.
- Do stretching exercises whenever you feel stiff. Doing such exercises 2-3 times a week can help improve your flexibility.
- Practice crossing your legs at the ankle instead of the knee.
- Avoid staying in one posture for long stretches of time.
- Avoid sitting on very soft mattresses and chairs.
- Choose a mattress that is sturdy enough to support your back and keep your spine straight.
- Use a pillow just to support your neck not elevate it.
- Switch to a medically designed chair in places where you need to spend a lot of time. ‘
The Correct Way
You too must get irritated with people always telling to you stay upright. With shoulders pushed backward, chest in the front, and chin up, staying like this for a minute tires me. So how can this be good for the body? Well, it not. The best posture is defined by your own body.
Good posture should feel effortless so you should listen to your body. Try making simple changes and find a posture that your body finds easy yet graceful.
Bad posture might not always be a sign of laziness, it can be an indication of an underlying health condition and can lead to another health issue. So your best bet is to consult the best physiotherapists in Pakistan through Marham.pk
BIO: Hiba Batool; a medical researcher and writer at Marham.pk