Most of our day is spent sat in office chairs, driving cars or standing still for extended periods of time, none of which we used to do and not how our bodies are intended to work. Because of this shift from being really active to sedentary, our bodies change according to the activities that we do causing pain and discomfort across our back, shoulders and core muscles.
Posture is maintained through the spinal structure and supporting core muscles. In order to maintain good posture, the spine must be used in its full range of motion and the core muscles must be utilized to help with our posture. Typically this is not done often in today’s society.
The spine tends to become curved and slumped as do the shoulders and because core muscles are not used and exercised enough the spine is not supported well enough in its newly formed shape.
Exercise can help correct posture by working the spine and core muscles in a variety ofways and more akin to way we moved as hunter-gatherers many centuries ago. Most aerobic exercises work a wide variety of muscles at the same time but usually not to any vigorous degree. Unless a person has an unnatural posture or a physical injury, most aerobic exercise will prove to be beneficial.
However, the best exercise for improving your posture is through resistance training. Exercises that work core muscles are incredibly beneficial as these operate as a supporting frame to the spine and shoulders. In modern society, we don’t do much twisting, lifting and carrying etc. so our core muscles are not used as much as they should or are meant to me.
Core exercises such as the plank, sit ups and leg raises mimic natural movements that our ancestors would have performed on a daily basis and to which the body is more designed towards. Anaerobic exercises that work individual or sets of muscles will again have a huge impact on our posture.
By exercising at sensible and safe levels we are also less prone to injury over time as our muscles and bones get used to a higher workload. Injuries can lead to poor posture as our body will naturally react to deal with the injury by sharing the workload in different ways. This may affect our posture as we try to compensate around the injury.
Posture is something that we don’t consider to be a problem but probably affects all of us in some way. Modern life is very different to what it was even a hundred years ago and vastly different to life several hundred years ago. Modern technology has made some manual jobs obsolete, and our bodies are no longer used to the vigorous movements of the past. A strict and steady exercise routine can ensure that our bodies are not subject to postural changes that might harm or cause discomfort.