Why We Develop Poor Posture
Posture is impacted by many aspects of our daily lives, some physical and others psychological.
Physical factors include how we habitually stand or sit at home or at work. Long hours stuck in the same position can cause joints to stiffen, and muscles to tighten and become weak. Injuries that aren’t properly managed can haunt us via dysfunctional movment patterns. And insufficient exercise leads our deep core muscles to lack the strength needed to structurally support our spine and skeletal system.
Psychological factors that impact posture include how we deal with stress, our overall self esteem levels, and whether we tend towards self confidence, anxiety or depression. Each of these mindsets can influence how we carry ourselves physically and present as negative posture patterns like tight, hunched shoulders or a collapsed chest. The reverse is also true, how we hold our body can also directly impact how we feel emotionally.
The Influence of Age
Naturally, good posture comes easier to most of us while we’re young. Our supportive core muscles are innately stronger and we often lead more energetic lifestyles. We’re also less likely to have butted up against the general wear and tear of daily life.
As we age however, the physical strains and psychological stresses of life begin to catch up with us. Poor postural and movment habits have become ingrained, old injuries come back to haunt, and, unless checked through thoughtful exercise, there is an inevitable weakening of all of our muscles.
Whatever the reason, poor posture causes unnecessary stress on the joints as they are held in positions they weren’t designed for. The result can be discomfort and pain, whether it be in the lower back, shoulder, neck, hip or some other body part.
Can Poor Posture Be Fixed?
Now for some good news. With a little effort and awareness, posture can be improved. Thankfully, we’re never to old to rebuild muscle strength and become more attuned to our postural tendencies in order to change them.
The first step in overcoming postural issues is to become aware of them. After all, how can we fix a stooping posture if we aren’t conscious that we’re doing it in the first place? Once we become of more mindful of our posture we can reclaim ownership over it.
The next step is to consider the cause. Why is the poor posture happening? Is it because of the way you stand at your job or sit at your desk? Is it due to an old injury? Is it because stress or depression is quite literally getting you down? Once we understand the origin of our postural habits we can take another step towards solving them.
For more yoga articles, updates, classes and workshops, sign up for my newsletter at the top of the page or like on Facebook at Ann West :: Iyengar Yoga. You can contact me directly by email or call (858) 224-2484.
© 2020 by Ann West. All rights reserved.