Saturday 1 February 2014

Stand-up Straight

What do human beings and bridges have in common?  Both require precise structural alignment to carry out optimal function.  If a key component fails, the results can be very bad.  Unfortunately, injuries happen very much the way bridges fail.  A misalignment over time, imperceptible to the eye, suddenly gives out, compromising the entire unit.

Think about stacking crates of wine glasses.  If we don’t place each crate directly on top of the one beneath it, the stack becomes wobbly and unstable.  To keep stacking boxes higher, we need to offset their position to counter-balance the swaying effect of the misalignment.  Our bodies work the same way – and they become unstable too!  

We weren’t designed for the work that most of us do.  If our bodies had been designed for the information age, our arms would be merely half of of their current length (T-Rex - Rawwrr!) to make it easier for us to work at desks and on our computers.  The good news, is that we can lengthen and strengthen these muscle groups that have become shortened and neglected. 

Ideal static posture makes a huge difference in stress reduction, injury prevention and the general efficiency of our bodies.  Training proper posture is a lot more involved (and more fun) than walking around with an encyclopedia on our heads. 

In the next entry, I will explain some of the ways to look for muscle imbalances and possible injury sites to our bodies caused by some common postural problems.

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