One of the first things that I learned from Dr. Brink is that “good” and “bad” posture doesn’t exist.
That might sound crazy, but hear me out.
Have you ever met someone who stood absolutely straight all day, never wavering from the stereotypical “good” posture of a perfectly straight back and squared shoulders? I don’t know about you…but I certainly haven’t.
AND YET, there are so many people out there who, despite not maintaining perfect “good” posture all day, have perfectly healthy posture.
So if there is no such thing as “good” posture, how do you start making sense of improving your posture?
Step 1 is knowing that trying to sit and stand perfectly straight all day is NOT the solution.
This is neither effective nor practical and can lead to some of the same problems as having “bad” posture all day.
Step 2 is knowing that the only “bad” posture, is a posture that you spend too much time
Your body is a dynamic machine designed to move all day long.
Where you see “bad” posture showing up is when you sit or stand, in one position, for hours and hours each day without mixing things up.
You see, what you commonly think of as bad posture is really just your body getting really good at what you do the most.
When sitting or standing still is what you do the most, your body takes that as a sign to get really good at it.
This leads to:
- shoulders and upper backs being stuck rounded forward
- heads tilted forward and down like your body is trying to turn into a microscope
- lower back being arched or rounded
So what do you know so far?
- The solution to improving your posture isn’t just white-knuckling the day trying to sit perfectly straight as long as possible
- The only “bad” posture is one that you spend too much time in.
WHAT’S THE FIX?
The only solution, no matter what you might have heard, is movement.
Oftentimes, what is perceived as a “posture” problem is really a “lack of movement” problem.
Consistent and deliberate movement is often the most effective solution and can improve muscular imbalances, alleviate joint pain, and greatly increase your health.
I want to make a quick distinction between movement and exercise.
Exercise is what you’d commonly think of as your “work-out.” A regimented period of time where you push yourself to improve your fitness level including but not limited to cardiovascular, strength, mobility or flexibility training.
Movement is simply the practice of moving your body consistently throughout the day. This does not have to be intense, strenuous, or get your heart rate up. In fact, sometimes it’s better that it’s not.
“What we think of as a posture problem is really a lack of movement problem.”
When it comes to improving posture, exercise is important.
But even if you exercise every day for an hour, and then you sit every day anywhere from 3-10 hours, odds are, your posture is not going to measurably improve.
Because, as you learned earlier, your body gets good at whatever you do the most. If your hour of exercise every day is your only deliberate movement, odds are that you’re sitting or standing 3-10X more than you’re moving.
With that ratio, your body and posture don’t stand a chance.
Your only hope….no it’s not Obi-Wan Kenobi., for you Star Wars fans out there… is to sprinkle in small amounts of movement throughout the day.
If you missed my article on the art of taking movement breaks, check it out here.
Below is a brief list of some of the most effective exercises that are easy enough to do anywhere and will help you balance out your posture from all the sitting.
#1 Neck CARs
#3 Cat / Cow
With all of these exercises, focus on making them slow and controlled doing your best to avoid too much compensation from other body parts.
Are you interested in getting exercises that are designed specifically for your body’s needs?
Do you need the accountability and expertise of a movement professional to help you finally get over any joint pain from spending too much time sitting?
Request an appointment with Dr. Brink!
He is available for in-office and virtual appointments.
You don’t need to live in pain! Let us help you move well and pain-free.