Improper posture affecting physiologic human function is a modern day health epidemic. Postural distortion patterns are present in 90% of the population, diminishing human performance of common daily activities. Faulty posture is far worse than having a weak musculoskeletal structure; faulty postural patterns lead to physiologic dysfunction such as respiratory and digestive disturbances.
Stress is the ultimate mechanism behind shaping biology. When natural life stressors affect the human body it directly sculpts the way the body will develop, regardless of genetic predisposition. Stressors our current day humanity experiences, however, have changed dramatically. Humanity is beginning to de-evolve into a hunched over, sedentary species with no core musculature control. Flexibility is decreased, strength is diminished, and the functional capacity of humanity is suffering. Function has decreased, yet environmental stressors have increased.
In addition to heightened perceived stress, societal assumptions tell us that age and genetics control our posture. Although age and genetics play a role in the makeup of posture, their significance is minimal. However, your patients have not been educated otherwise, thus they are less empowered to take care of their bodies.
Posture derives from how a person moves, or in this modern-day society how they don’t move. The behaviors that are repeated over time eventually become ingrained in our physiology, both healthy behaviors and unhealthy behaviors. How your patients use their bodies and are consciously present during their daily routine will change their posture.
The primary determinant of healthy or weak posture is their lifestyle habits and how they orient themselves in their environment with consideration of the surrounding conditions. Healing posture is a process of self-discovery from a mental and physical aspect. Maintaining healthy posture throughout the lifecycle requires a lifelong commitment to intelligent lifestyle habits.
As their trusted healthcare provider, it is important that you educate your patients of the importance of proper lifestyle habits to help them develop healthier posture. Consider the 10 most common posture mistakes that your patients are likely making; weakening their posture on a daily basis.
10 Most Common Posture Mistakes:
- Doing repetitive uni-planar occupational movements day after day
- Living a sedentary lifestyle
- Having a lazy or slouched posture while seated for prolonged periods
- Slouching shoulders forward while reading, watching TV, texting, typing on a computer, etc.
- Improper lifting techniques of heavy objects and habitually carrying a heavy bag over the same shoulder
- Sitting on a wallet causing pelvic imbalance
- Preventable fitness related micro traumas such as weak form at the gym
- Wearing shoes that do not support their feet and distort natural weight distribution
- Standing with the weight of their torso shifted over one hip
- Sleeping on their stomach with the lumbar spine in extension and the cervical spine rotated to one side