What is posture?
Posture is a term used to describe a position of the body or the
arrangements of body parts relative to one another. Ideal postures are
those assumed to perform an activity in the most efficient manner
utilizing the least amount of energy. All activity begins with a posture
and ends with a posture. The relationships between body parts can be
controlled voluntarily but to do this would require too much
concentration. During normal functioning one's postures and adjustments
to postures are automatic and occur quickly.
Posture exercises should include both stretching, strengthening, and proprioceptive exercises and below I will explain why this is so.
Posture is Dynamic
Posture is Easy
Posture requires Coordination
Causes of Poor Movement Patterns
not easy. Most people would intuitively consider postural muscles as those that hold a body upright, standing, against gravity. For perfectly erect standing, however, very little muscle activity is needed. Joints are balanced on one another in such a way as to minimize the work necessary to hold one upright against gravity. Posture in these terms is thought of as static. How often do we just stand there? People need to move to function and to work, so I will talk of posture on this page as the positions we assume during the day in preparation for other positions we assume. We are always preparing to move whether it be to pick up a mouse or walk to the store. In this way we can think of posture as dynamic, always changing.
If you have some tight muscles, however, more muscle activity may be required to work against the tight muscles to hold a joint in its neutral position. In this way stretching will help you maintain good postures. Muscles that typically become tight are often referred to as the tonic muscles when discussing how to improve posture.
Why is examining dynamic posture important? it is usually during these transitions from one posture to another that injury occurs. Probably one of the most important times for one to maintain good posture is during lifting. The chest is up, feet shoulder width apart, head centred over the shoulders, the item to be lifted close to one's base of support, and hips at an angle so that one feels like one is pushing through the floor. Deviation from this takes one's joints and muscles outside of their optimal range of performance and increases risk of injury.