Why posture matters and how to improve it

postureIntroduction

Unfortunately the word ‘posture’ for many men brings back memories of strict family members insisting they ‘sit up straight’ without ever explaining why. When many men suffer debilitating back pain, often caused by poor posture, they tend to ignore it as long as possible and conceal it from their mates. This tendency for men to suffer in silence and not visit their GPs had led to the creation of Men’s Health Week each year.

 

Why posture matters

In a study of back ache across the European Union it was found that 47 per cent of men had suffered back pain over the past year and figures for Australia will be similar. Strain on joints and muscle groups, often caused by long hours in poor postures, are responsible for much of this back pain and office workers are prone to this. The absenteeism this leads to is well-known but more work is actually lost through ‘presenteeism’ when workers turn up but cannot work efficiently because of the agony they are suffering. To prevent this it makes sense for men to create a better posture for themselves.

 

General tips for improving posture

Poor posture can be created by the way we stand as well as by the way we sit. Many men lean more on one foot than the other. This leads to problems of muscle imbalance and can lead to poor balance. It is therefore best to keep your feet the same distance apart as your shoulders so as to put equal weight on each foot. Pulling your shoulders back will make you stand tall and this will improve your posture. There should be a vertical line from your ear lobe through your shoulder to your hip. When sitting at a computer most men will find themselves leaning forward which puts considerable strain on your back. It is therefore better to sit up straight and to make sure that your feet are flat on the floor at the same distance as your hips. This is made easier if the top of the screen you are looking at is at eye level and your chair provides back support. The mouse and keyboard should also be close to you and it is best if the computer you use most is not a laptop.

 

A few postural exercises for office workers

There are several exercises that office workers and anyone who works a great deal on computers have found helpful in improving their posture and avoiding the back ache that results. With back extensions you put your hands behind you on top of the pelvis and lean back as far as is comfortable. Neck stretches involve tilting your head towards your shoulder stretching those muscles. A doorway stretch involves putting your forearms along a door-frame and stretching your body slowly through the door. If you feel this is all a bit complicated you can simply periodically stretch or get up and walk for a minute.

Pilates and Losing Weight

YogalatesIf you need to lose weight quickly, Pilates isn’t the ideal exercise for you. However, if your goal is not just to lose weight, but also to tone plus look slimmer,including pilates to the technique part of your workout routine will help.

Body Shaping

The technique helps to tone your muscles, particularly around your midsection. That shapes your body, giving you an appearance that is leaner. Since most people strive for an improved appearance when they are trying to lose weight, this method can help you to accomplish that goal.

Building Strength

For you to lose weight, you will need the physical ability to do exercise. Most of the people who are extremely out of shape or overweight are often struggling when it comes to performing weight loss exercises. Pilates Association of Canada, a not-for-profit organisation, has the aim of promoting this technique, sponsoring educational, supporting high professional standards and disseminating information that relates to this method in Canada.

According to the organisation Pilates can help you build the required strength and tone your core plus increase flexibility. Additionally, the Association states that the method can help relieve back pain. This can make exercising easier plus more comfortable. Once you have started to build muscle using this technique, you will be capable of performing more exercises with less difficulty and increased comfort.

Movement

If you really need to lose weight, you have to get up and start moving. The technique gives a gentle introduction to the movement world. The association also lists body balancing among the benefits of using this physical fitness system. The not-for-profit organisation argues that by balancing your body, you will achieve the capability of moving gracefully. As a result, this can make exercising as well as losing weight to become much easier for you. Rather than concentrating on balance, you will be focusing on the cardio aerobic workout that keeps you moving.

Attitude

The inventor of this a physical fitness system was from Mönchengladbach, Germany. He developed the method in the early twentieth century, and it was named after him. He called his technique “Contrology”. According to him, the exercise method is meant to benefit your body, mind as well as spirit. If you’ve a better attitude when getting into the whole process of losing weight, you will most likely lose more weight eventually. An invigorated spirit plus a positive attitude can increase your well-being as well.

Activity

While doing this physical fitness system alone will not lead to you dropping the size of a dress in a week’s time, it contributes to the total amount of time that you often spend moving in one day. Hence, the more movement you make, the more calories you will burn. Whether you are a fitness expert or just coming back into the exercise world, this technique can help you to stay active, particularly if you aren’t looking for a workout with a high impact.

 

Like further information on Pilates? Contact Your Health Hub in Hobart for a consultation and discussion today. Phone: 03 6122 0150