Posture and postural assessments: what's it all about?

What is posture?

Posture is the position in which someone holds their body when standing, sitting or lying down.

Good posture

Good posture is noticed best when you have the ability to train your body to sit, stand, walk and lie in certain positions where the least amount of strain is placed. For example, on ligaments or muscles during weight-bearing activities or routine movement. Maintaining good posture will;  

  • keep bones and joints in the correct postural alignment (to support the muscles). 
  • decrease the amount of infrequent wearing of joint surfaces (too much of this could result in arthritis) 
  • decrease the amount of stress on the spine 
  • prevent the spine from becoming locked into irregular position 
  • prevent strain and overuse of muscles  
  • prevent backache and other muscular pain

Poor posture

Poor posture results from certain muscles tightening and shortening while others lengthen and become weak. There are a number of factors which can impact posture. These include; 

  • occupational activities and bio-mechanical factors (meaning repetition and force) 
  • psycho-social factors, for example, workers who suffer with high job stress are more likely to develop shoulder and neck symptoms 

Who’s most at risk from poor posture? 

Well, we all are really! Think about your day-to-day lifestyle. How long do you spend hunched over your phone or computer, or spent driving? How many breaks do you take? How many should you take?  

Poor posture can come from a variety of factors, including sitting for long periods of time at a computer and driving, especially if frequent breaks are not taken. Poor sitting position can lead to neck and backache, this could be short or long term. The issue is really spending too long in any one position.  

What is a postural assessment and why have one?

Depending on the individual we decide which assessment they will benefit them, this could be a general postural assessment or a sports specific assessment. 

Performing a postural assessment on an individual who may have long-term pain or poor posture enables us to understand how their body is coping with the lifestyle demands placed upon it. Assessments help us determine which areas of the body are under more strain than others and why. From this, we can put together an exercise plan and, combined with massage treatments, we can help correct posture and reduce or remove pain.  

When looking at a sporting injury or under-performance we are able to assess movement patterns, muscle activation, as well as the strength and flexibility of specific areas. During the assessment we gather information, test movement and video performance, we are then able to provide a treatment plan according to findings and measure any improvements with further sessions. 

By assessing movement and posture we are able to evaluate and address the corrections needed through simple lifestyle changes, stretching and strengthening exercises. Treatment plans are bespoke and will vary depending on the results of the assessment.

Who will benefit from a postural assessment?

Anyone can benefit from a postural assessment by learning how your body has adapted to life. We all build bad habits over time - even if we try not to. For example, through sitting at a desk all day, holding babies on your hip or not stretching before and after exercise, we all build weakness and alternations in our movements. An assessment will show these and give you an awareness of how to change them.  

Those who have recurring pain or are under-performing will particularly benefit from having a postural assessment. Awareness is the first step to understanding and correcting any underlying issues. 

If you are interested in how your posture affects you, contact us to book your bespoke postural assessment.