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October 2013

Posture: It Goes Everywhere You Go

by Nick A. Titley, M.S., NPI-Certified Posture Specialist

Your posture goes everywhere you go; when you stand, sit, exercise and perform activities of daily living, your posture is a key component in how well you're able to perform tasks. Your posture is so important that it can impact your overall ability to effectively perform your daily rituals.

Whether stationary or moving, the effects of posture can be felt by everyone. Good posture demonstrates confidence, balance and pain free movement; it allows you to enjoy time at home or at work, and can enhance the quality of your exercise routine.

The latter, poor posture, can be so debilitating that a person will be unable to perform basic activities of daily living. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the term "activities of daily living" or (ADLs), are basic tasks of everyday life, such as eating, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, and transferring from one task to another. When people are unable to perform these tasks, they may require assistance from mechanical devices or other people to cope.  

Poor posture can lead to postural distortions. Prolonged postural distortions can lead to postural related problems such as pain and discomfort, muscular imbalances, loss of range of motion and muscular strength, and even permanently stretched ligaments. Can you imagine experiencing pain or discomfort while you open a door, go for a walk or while sitting still?

Recreational activities, family events and job related tasks, all become cumbersome as a result of these postural related problems, and if left unchecked, these issues can worsen with time. Fortunately, once educated, posture is something that we can work on with little effort.

By first becoming more educated and aware of your posture and how to maintain proper postural alignment, one can prevent future discomfort and can improve existing conditions. Improving posture can be as simple as consulting an NPI-Certified Posture Specialist and by implementing the National Posture Institute's Four (4) Points of Posture Program™.

National Posture Institute's 4 Points of Posture Program™

1) Sit, or stand up straight and tall, 2) hold your chest high, 3) retract your shoulders as if you're trying to pinch a pencil and 4) contract your abdominals. You can begin implementing this technique by performing these 4 points for five minutes, three times daily.

In addition, pay attention to the way you feel while you perform your tasks, especially when fatigued. Take routine breaks, stretch your muscles and adjust your position if needed. You may also want to consider adapting your workspace so that it assists you in maintaining your goal for proper posture. Posture, like exercise and good nutrition, is a lifestyle choice and must be done consistently in order to reap the best rewards.

You take your posture everywhere, so learn to care for it, because the returns on investment will speak volumes in later years. We simply cannot afford to neglect our postural needs, especially when so much of our ability to function is riding on the quality of our postural alignment. Remember, good posture can mean a happy lifestyle full of excitement, while bad posture can be mean a life of pain and discomfort.



Clark, Robert, and Joan Norstrand. United States government. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Measuring the Activities of Daily Living: Comparisons Across National Surveys. Washington, D.C.: , 1990. Print.


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