Ignore Your Posture at Your Own Peril
In this Part 1 of a 2 Part series, Anne Noonan will discuss why ignoring our posture will age us fast.
When you hear the word posture, most of us will imagine how we hold our upper body. In this article we discuss the upper body which is only half the equation.
Remember the days when our mothers told us to sit up straight, pull those shoulders back and stop slouching? I remember when the nuns at school would come up behind us with a knock to the shoulder blades. Can you imagine that happening now that we’re a nation of computer lovers and phone huggers?
Why is this potentially dangerous and can it affect our business life?
One of the most important and most dangerous aspects of ageing that will progress us faster down the track is allowing the shoulders and back to hunch forward without correction. As the muscles at the back of the neck and in between the shoulders are constantly engaged, pain and tension builds. We’ve all felt the crack and crackle of opening up the spine after having been folded forward.
Why is posture important?
When the upper rib cage tips forward, the inner organs become compacted. When the organs are compacted the fascia tightens up around the thoracic region. When this starts to happen, that deep belly breath becomes harder to achieve. Being able to take a deep belly breath, keeps the fascia tensile, thereby keeping the ribcage in an upright position. One of the most important aspects of all, it helps to keep our nervous system in the parasympathetic state. If the nervous system remains stressed, the cascade of illness can be catastrophic.
What can we do about it?
Here’s a stretch you can do right now to release out shoulders and lift the rib cage. Reach both arms behind your back, straighten and clasp hands. Bring the shoulders back and feel that sheath of muscles across the heart region stretching. Lift the face and sternum to the ceiling and take a deep breath. Are you hearing some crackles? This lifts your ribcage. Take a couple of breaths here then release. Repeat often.
Look out for part two of this article where I address the major muscle in the lower half of the body that’s integral for posture.