Standing up straight: what a puzzle!

Published by : | October 3 2018

You’ve probably been asked to stand up straight in your life, either to take a picture or just at the hairdresser when you get your haircut. What does it mean to just stand up straight? How do you get there? Is it important? We will try to answer all these questions through this article.
What we have to understand is that it is thanks to the muscles that we hold our position, because they allow not only to move, but also to hold the alignments of the different segments of our body. Whenever an element of the musculoskeletal system is deficient, the muscles must react to accompany or substitute for this deficiency; their job is to protect and maintain the integrity of this device. This protection, meanwhile, can become a disorder if it is maintained over time and can thus participate in the emergence of chronic pain in the longer term. A bad postural attitude or a bad positioning can therefore have certain consequences on the health of the joints of the body.

Look at the following picture*:

The silhouette on the left is that of a postural attitude called neutral, or right. The next ones show us some of the typical positions that are found in a large number of people: office workers, students or even the sportsman, who spends several hours in front of the television or the computer. One can easily see that each of these postural attitudes has brought changes in the different curvatures of the spine. Such changes also change the alignment of the shoulders or pelvis, because we remember that the muscles react to try to restore the balance of the locomotor system.
It is these changes which, when accumulated over time, are at the origin of pain and sensations of ankylosis that can be felt daily. Imagine the effects of such a position on your body when you try to lift loads, run or practice!
It is therefore important to adopt good daily postural habits that reduce the risk of getting hurt or overloading your joints. Think about these few indications when you will do exercises or when you will have to keep a standing or sitting position for a long time:

  • Chin slightly tucked in to align the cervical spine;
  • Shoulders slightly tilted back and shoulder blades pushed towards the trouser pockets;
  • Open chest to straighten the thoracic spine;
  • Abdominal contracted to stabilize the lumbar region;
  • Place the buttocks at the bottom of the seat and have your feet flat on the floor when sitting on a chair, this will prevent you from tilting and winding yourself forward.

Remember that the kinesiologist is the right professional to help you optimize your positioning with appropriate exercise programming.

Click here to book an appointment today!



* Kendall FP, McCreary EK, Provance PG, Rodgers MM, Romani WA. Muscles: testing and function, with posture and pain. 5th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkings; 2005)

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