What is good posture anyway? A or B?

by Laura Warf

September 26, 2023 | Posture

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When you say the word “posture,” most people instinctively know what you are talking about. In fact, when hearing that word, you often immediately sit up a little straighter or stand up a little taller. Memories of my grandmother saying « sit up straight dear » still rings in my ears to this day.

Good posture: The key for a pain-free life

The Egoscue Method® informs us that good posture is not just about standing up straight and tall. Good posture is our foundation for moving well and living pain free. Our spine is designed with an elongated “S” structure and is the centerpiece of a musculoskeletal system that is based on parallel vertical and horizontal lines and 90-degree angles.

Our major load-bearing joints (shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles), as well as the ear, should all be stacked on top of each other in a vertical line.

When viewed from the front, our shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should all be straight across from one another connected by horizontal lines that are parallel to the ground.
These vertical and horizontal lines form 90-degree angles when properly aligned. In this position, the wear and tear on our body is minimized and our muscles are able to optimally support and power our movements.

Good posture allows our body to do everything that it is designed to do, and do it pain free.

This means we can bend forward and backward, rotate to the left and right, and dance through myriad of different planes of motion easily. It also means that we are able to go for a three-mile run, or sit behind a computer for one, or two, or eight hours without hurting. Essentially, when your posture is aligned and balanced, you won’t have pain or limitations!

Freddie Function Front Egoscue® Poster Image

Freddie Function Front Egoscue® Poster Image

Am I out of balance?

Here is a quick test Laura gives each person who books a postural assessment.

If you are wondering if your posture is off, do this quick balance test:

  1. Stand up with your shoes off.
  2. Read this first, then close your eyes.
  3. Tune in to where you feel the weight in your feet and answer these questions:
  4. Which foot feels heavier into the ground?
  5. Is there more weight on your heels or toes?
  6. Is there more weight on the outside or inside of your foot?

Or, let Laura guide you with this audio version of the test: 

If you feel any difference between the two sides (which the vast majority of you will), that tells you that your posture is off, and you are out of balance. And it’s that very imbalance that we at Egoscue believe to be the reason why you hurt. Your pain is simply your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t quite right.

When you book a posture assessment, we identify where your imbalances are coming from through a series of photos and functional tests. You will be given a series of personalised corrective exercises to help realign your body naturally to help relieve pain and reduce risk of injury.

When we move better, we feel better. Why not enjoy body-friendly movement that keeps our posture aligned and our body functional with the added bonus of delivering a bounce in our step!

Be well.

Resources

  • Image : Egoscue® ADD Freddy Function image
  • Audio: Transcription of the Quick Balance Test
     Let's do this quick balance test. Stand up with your shoes off. Now take a couple of breaths, maybe shake out your body a little bit, so that you can tune in to your own sensory experience.

    Now close your eyes, walk on the spot a couple of times, and then stand still. Let's answer a few of these questions. Do you notice if you have more weight on one foot or the other? Which foot actually feels heavier into the ground? Or are they evenly balanced? Is there more weight on the heels of your feet or your toes?

    Perhaps you feel more weight on the heel of one foot, yet the forefront of the foot or the toes of the opposite foot.

    How about the inside or the outside of your foot? Is it even on the right and the left? Is the weight distributed evenly on the inside and outside of your feet or is there more weight on the inside of one foot and the outside of the other foot? If you feel any difference between the two sides, and the vast majority of people do, that tells you that your posture is off and that you are out of balance.

    And it's that very imbalance that can cause compensations in the body that lead to pain at times. or even injury. And sometimes that pain is just a way of our body that speaks to us. It tells us that something isn't quite right. The good news is that we can discover where those misalignments are coming from through posture alignment therapy.

    And through corrective exercise, we can restore the body's natural alignment and strengthen and stretch our muscles so that our bodies work optimally for us. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or would like to book your own posture assessment. Be well.
About the author, Laura Warf

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Laura Warf is a Posture Therapist, Functional Movement Specialist, Yoga Teacher, Personal Trainer, Empowerment Coach, and Co-founder of Mend Loft in Cannon Beach. Connect with Laura at [email protected] for more information. Or visit our website, MendLoft.com

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