Sunday, September 16, 2007

Why posture is important

The role of posture in good ergonomic health ...

"We often hear that good posture is essential for good health. We recognize poor posture when we see it formed resulting from bad habits carried out over years and evident in many adults. But only few people have a real grasp of the importance and necessity of good posture.

What is posture? Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. Without posture and associated muscles, we would simply fall to the ground.

Normally, we do not consciously maintain normal posture. Instead, our muscles just do it for us. Several muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are critically important in maintaining good posture. While the ligaments help to hold the bones together, properly functioning postural muscles prevent gravity from pushing us over, as well as help maintain our posture and balance during movement.

Why is good posture important? Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and function in positions placing the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and other activities. Correct posture can help keep bones and joints in correct alignment so muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces resulting in degenerative arthritis and joint pain. It can reduce stress on ligaments holding joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury. By allowing muscles to work more efficiently, the body is able to use less energy and potentially prevent muscle fatigue. In addition, good posture can help prevent overuse disorders, some neck and/or back conditions, or even sprain/strain injuries.

Maintaining proper posture requires adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion, as well as efficient postural muscles that are balanced on both sides of the spine. In addition, postural habits must be addressed and corrected at home and in the workplace."    (Continued via Marion Star)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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