The Ins & Outs of Posture

We all know we should have good posture. We might even have an idea why we should have good posture, but we are built with a thin thread of lazy that shows up in our posture. The typical adult posture and now as early as adolescence, is one of rolled shoulders and the head hanging forward. I often attribute this posture to computer, phone and tablet use, dishes and laundry, gardening, caring for little people, homework, etc, All of which encourage rolling forward and looking down. Gone are the days of childhoods spent sitting in chairs with books on heads.

So why does it really matter if we slump? There are many reasons good posture is worth the effort. My first concern will always be your spine. Poor posture puts stress on your joints, shortens your chest muscles and elongates your upper back muscles, throwing off the balance of the muscular system. These body stresses eventually lead to arthritis in the spine, painful joints, stiff muscles and decreased range of motion. Good posture displaces the weight
of the body as it was intended.Sitting and standing upright also allows for deeper breathing and greater oxygenation of your blood, which means your brain and all other tissues are work efficiently. Additionally, good posture allows for bowl motility, resulting in better digestion.

Posture can also be a reflection of mood. When we are feeling down or frustrated we tend to have slumped shoulders. On the contrary, when we are joyous we bound around with our eyes to the sky. The next time your feeling down, pull your shoulders down and back, then place your head over your shoulders and notice the heaviness lift.

Pregnancy is an important time to begin thinking and working on posture. Nursing, baby carrying, changing diapers and disrupted sleep will add additional challenges to staying upright. Like all good things in healthy living, building the habit is the key to making a lasting change. If you’re already a parent, you have the opportunity to demonstrate healthy lifestyle habits for your children. If you eat well, move your body, take time for prayer or mediation and pay attention to your posture, your little copy cats will be encouraged to do the same.