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Many of us remember being told to sit or stand up straight by a parent or teacher when we were children. It transpires that our parents were right to insist on good posture as it actually has health benefits, from decreasing stress and strain on ligaments, muscles and joints of the neck and back. This can help prevent neck and back pain. It has many effects, but what exactly is posture? Essentially, it is the position you hold your body in while sitting, standing or lying down. Building muscle strength through Pilates classes can really help in improving posture and at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic all of our classes are taught by chartered physiotherapists. There really are a lot of benefits from looking after your physical stance.
• Helps protect your bones and joints, as you put less strain on them when you hold your body correctly and so reduce wear and tear. This can also protect you from mobility problems.
• Means reduced back pain as you put less pressure on ligaments and muscles. As a result exercise is less effort and you may feel far less prone to general aches, pains and even headache.
• Can aid your breathing. When you slouch it can become an effort to breathe properly. However, if your posture is good, your lungs and diaphragm have more room to expand and contract, giving you a more relaxed and effortless breath. More oxygen to the brain due to good positioning can also help with your concentration levels.
• Helps you to avoid developing an abnormal permanent position, by preventing the spine becoming fixed in a bad position.
• Can help you when playing sport. Specified positions are often required in sport, for example, when using your golf swing. Holding yourself correctly, in general, can help you in adapting well to different positions when playing a range of sports.
• Helps strengthen your abdominal muscles, which support your lower back.
• Is also very important during pregnancy. Your body is under enough pressure when you are pregnant, so good posture really assists in keeping those aches and pains at bay.
• Gives confidence. When you “walk tall” and carry yourself as best you can, it makes you feel better, breathe easier and calmer and can even give you a confidence boost.
To achieve a better way of sitting, standing or indeed lying, there are a number of things you need. Among them are good muscle flexibility, good motion in the joints, good balance of muscle either side of the spine and indeed an awareness of what good posture is. An appointment with a chartered physiotherapist at Ballsbridge Physiotherapy Clinic can help you with any of the techniques you need to reap the benefits of good posture.