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The Essential 4 series: Will Good Posture Please Stand Up?

Posted Oct 23 2008 6:05pm

Greetings Everyone!

The first weekend of classes started yesterday and the day before. I haven't been this inspired since the first time I picked up a pen and wrote poetry (that as when I was 8 years old). A part of me wanted to temporarily skip this series to talk about other things but I had to cut the OD Factor within myself and stay focused. So...without further to do....hehehe

Will Good Posture Please Stand Up?

My shoulders hurt. Well, it's really my right shoulder that feels discomfort but if I don't do anything about it, after a while, the pain would spread to my back and my neck. I know what was the catalyst for my discomfort and I even know what to do about it...but what about those of you in a similar situation? If you have joint pain and tightness (especially in the lower limbs), or internal ailments like digestive issues or restricted breathing, it maybe your posture that is the cause of your issues.

As children, we were always told to "stand up straight" and maintain good posture. Nowadays, this is a little difficult since textbooks for children, teens, and college students seem to be extra heavy. A woman's purse is also getting heavier and men...LOL I guess they have better things to do than checking for posture (unless they are in the gym for weight lifting).

While thinking about posture and doing research, I watched people walk. I started to feel bad at the amount of women that are walking with their torso's shifted to one side and as children look more and more like Quasimodo, with the heavy book bag on their backs. Most men that I have seen don't carry their bags on their shoulder and when they do, I have noticed them adjust more than women and children.

I also watched how people sit down at my office. This is where I see most men fail when it comes to posture. I have noticed that while men really don't complain about their "posture" issues, women speak on it constantly but don't know what to do about it. Women will get all kinds of body pillows and seat cushions, thinking it will help but it rarely does.

Before I got into specifics, I would like to show you what bad posture and good posture look like:


Can you see the difference? A lot of people don't even realize that their posture looks like this until they see a doctor because they are in pain or can't breathe. I know what you want to ask me right now: How does posture affect breathing? Without going into the scientific details, I will give you the common sense answer.

Look at this picture again. On the left, you see that the chest is compressed because of the "C" shaped back. If your chest is compressed, then how can you possibly be able to take in all the air that you need so that your body can function at full capacity? (Remember, your body needs the oxygen in air to travel, through the blood, to ensure proper blood flow - circulation) Also, noticed how the model has to keep his knees bent to keep this position. While it is perfectly normal for you to keep your knees slightly bent (especially when doing any form of exercise), keeping the knees bent in this way for long periods of time, puts too much stress on the knees and can cause damage.

If you notice the model on the right side of the picture is the complete opposite. Because his body is in this position, balance is greatly affected and can do major damage to the hips, legs, and feet. I also want you to pay close attention to the head. When your head is pushed forward, it offsets balance even more, causing damage to your shoulders and neck. Let's not forget that your back is always affected by posture issues.

Even though it pains me to (pardon the pun), I will pick up where I left off in another post. Next time, we will talking about the back and the spine - their roles and what is truly affected when the spine is "bent out of shape". I will briefly talk about spinal issues like scoliosis, and in the thread after that, I will discuss what alternative methods are available to make your posture better. Throughout this series, I will also continue with my path to better posture, explaining what my issues really were, in the next post.

As of now, my shoulder feels much better and all I did was spend 5 minutes on it. I can do more to make the pain completely go away but I am content right now. Of course you will find out what I did in later posts but I want you to understand right now that maintaining good posture is a constant thing that must last a lifetime. It is not something you can forget about once you think the issues have been resolved.

So until my next post, please....
stay strong, stay healthy, and fight dis-ease!

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