The Posture Post August 17 2011
30 Dumbell Push Press
60 KB Swing
30 Dumbell Push Press
The Posture Post
Posture has become this idea of something that we know we should put effort toward, but we don’t. Our day to day posture may be causing us more problems then we realize. The human body adapts to its surroundings and it does this in an effort to minimize energy expenditure, or efficiency in living. What does this mean?
Let’s look at Joe. He works 9 hours a day as an accountant. He sits and types for 8 of those hours. That’s 1/3 of his day. He also sleeps 8 hours a day. There goes another 1/3. Let’s look at his posture during those hours.
At work Joe sits in a big comfy rollaround chair. He sits pretty close to parallel as far as depth. Ok, so that’s no problem we do that when we squat everyday. That’s true but look at Joe’s spine while he’s sitting. His back is rounded severely. And his shoulders are slumped forward as he reaches towards the keyboard. His head is forward as well as he focuses on the screen. Maybe his head is tilted to hold the phone between his shoulder and his ear. That’s the position Joe’s body stays in for 1/3 of his day give or take a few breaks.
Joe goes home and climbs into bed to go to sleep. He rolls over on one of his shoulders, probably the same one he rolls onto every night, and falls asleep. He may move around a bit as the night goes on but for the most part he’s in the same position. Imagine his neck being in a leaned over position all night as he lays on his shoulder. Oh, and then there’s all the pressure that’s on your shoulder now. His spine is flexed all sorts of ways laterally and his hips are far from neutral. That’s Joe’s body position for another 1/3 of his day.
Now recall that we said that the body’s end goal in adaptation is efficiency in living. In other words putting out the smallest amount of energy possible at any given time. If Joe’s body is in these strange positions for the majority of his life, or 2/3 of it, his body is going to begin to adapt to these positions. Some muscles are going to shorten, others are going to be stretched and weakened, and things are going to get ugly very quickly. This is why range of motion, and maintaining range of motion, is so important.
Unfortunately, overcoming these problems that have developed over years takes a significant effort. It’s going to require dedicated time but it is doable and very rewarding. Stay tuned for how….