Posture and Your Health 

Posture is based on the interaction between multiple body systems, but for simplicity's sake, we will focus on the interaction between skeletal and muscle systems. 

 

Skeletal System

Muscular System

  • Composed of bones joints and ligaments
  • Bones articulate with one another to create joints
  • Joints are held together by joint capsules and ligaments 
  • Composed of muscles and tendons that connect the bones
  • When muscles contract the tendons  pill on the bones
  • Then a joint will move through a partial or full range of motion  

The musculoskeletal system contribute to body position, movement and posture.  

Standing Posture 

When the spine is in a neutral position it promotes good posture and body mechanics. Good posture allows the musculoskeletal system to align in a way to bear weight and absorb forces through the body as efficiently as possible. Muscles can work as agonist (together), antagonist (opposing) or synergist (stabilizers) that allow joints to be stable as they go through their range of motion. 

1 Decreases breathing effectiveness and oxygen intake, which can lead to feeling tired 

2 Decreases digestive efficiency and effectiveness

3 Can eventually lead to compensations, joint dysfunction and/or injury 

Sitting Posture

A prolonged slumped posture at a desk can lead to the following:


Poor posture can be combated by performing some simple exercises and stretches at your desk and moving regularly throughout the day. According to an article published in the Annuals of Internal Medicine setting an alarm every 30 minute to walk around will also help negate the negative effects of sitting all day.  The cumulative effect of walking around every 30 minutes throughout the day for a sedentary job is better than a 30 minute workout.

Patterns of Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in U.S. Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A National Cohort Study, 1

Keith M. Diaz, PhD; Virginia J. Howard, PhD; Brent Hutto, MSPH; Natalie Colabianchi, PhD; John E. Vena, PhD; Monika M. Safford, MD; Steven N. Blair, PED; Steven P. Hooker, PhD

Head Posture

A slumped posture with a forward head can lead to the following:

A forward head posture consists of abnormal alignment of spinal curves, neck and trunk muscle imbalances, and a dysfunctional shoulder complex.  Each issue must be addressed and corrected in order to see an improvement in posture. As the spinal curves start to align correctly the head and shoulders will move back towards a more neutral position, the muscles in the neck and trunk will resume their normal length and strength, and the shoulder complex will realign into a biomechanically efficient position.

If you have issues with posture or believe you will benefit from physical therapy, please give our office a call at (609) 587-9944 to schedule an appointment today!

 

Author
Mahmood Siddique Board certified physician Mahmood I. Siddique, DO, FACP, FCCP, FAASM, takes a modern, holistic approach to caring for his patients at Sleep and Wellness Medical Associates in Hamilton, New Jersey. He believes medicine is most effective when it considers not just the patient’s symptoms, but the broader connections among their overall physical, emotional, and mental health and well-being.

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