Boot Camp Posture 101
Some individuals think chiropractics is quack work. I disagree with that opinion. The practice of aligning the spine is of paramount importance to the efficiency in which signals are transduced from our minds to our muscles. Our spine has 3 curves naturally, and any deviance from this optimal structure will interrupt the flow of information and cause other muscles to overcompensate because of this.
There was good reason your mom told you to sit up straight even if she didn't understand the principles of spinal anatomy. A crooked spine backs up optimal functioning in our bodies. That signal from your medulla oblongotta to your lungs to take that breath is now ever so slightly slower, and all that slouching and crouching is definitely not enough room for your organs to function – think about all that oxygen you're not getting into your lungs on this one. So stop suffocating yourself and sit up straight!
Proper posture is standing as tall and as straight as gravity will let you, while you are keeping your core tight and not letting your belly stick out. That's the easy part – now let's talk about sitting properly.
A large portion of the population has issues with sitting up straight. We have gotten our bodies so familiar with what bad posture feels like that we have to actively think to put our bodies into proper posture, and when we are there, our muscles tire, because they are not used to it. We begin to suffer from forward head posture, as we are always leaning in looking at computers or TVs and causing excessive flexion through the cervical portion of the spine.
What we are looking for is the straight line! I am talking ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles all in a nice line. Think about this line, be the line! (You never thought you'd be told to be a line when you woke up this morning, but here we are…)
We are so accustomed to hunching over on computers and sitting for very long periods that I feel that we are devolving as a species! 1 million years from now, we will have hunch backs, small legs, and big brains (I guess it's not all bad.)
A huge point to make about proper posture is the position of the scapula (shoulder blades). You always want them where they are supposed to be (retracted and depressed) and unfortunately they are not.
Always keep in mind how you are sitting, and get up, move around, and re-adjust from time to time. This is the perfect excuse to get out of some work at your desk…
Many people suffer from kyphosis or hunch back from tight chest muscles and weak back muscles. Often associated with this is tight hip flexors, weak hamstrings, weak abs and a tight lower back.
This is purely a by-product of how we live our lives. Most of this can be attributed to all the sitting we do. They should start teaching school in a more dynamic environment where children are standing and able to move around and express their ideas on a giant white board that encompasses the room. This way, we could help prevent bad habits from forming at an early age. (I was the biggest sloucher in school – I thought it was cool – I'm shaking my head disapprovingly).
Our ancestors, let's say 10,000 years ago, never suffered from this. They were strong from all the manual labour (I'm thinking farming) and riding horses with their abs braced and sitting up straight.
Oh the good ol' days ;)
Keep moving. A Langley Boot Camp is a good place to start!
The Bootcamp Effect