Is it just us, or do you also think of that one family member that always told you to “stand straight,” or “sit up straight,” everytime your back aches?
Even if you don't relate to this specific wave of nostalgia, you’ve probably heard the phrase. It’s not surprising, given the long-term effects of posture on our wellbeing.
Since posture analysis and postural feedback is a very special BBalance feature, we think it’s only fair we at least give you a little brief on why.
How does posture impact our lives?
“Good posture helps prevent neck, shoulder and back pain, makes it easier to breathe and digest your food, and helps you maintain flexibility and balance. Bad posture, on the other hand, can restrict a person’s free movement, eventually making exercise and daily functioning difficult. It’s also important for efficiency—bad posture can lead to movement patterns that require more energy from your body. For these reasons, some researchers say adopting good posture is a prerequisite to a healthy life.”
There are also many accounts that suggest that posture is connected to your mental health, too. Infact, one study says, “Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture. Furthermore, sitting upright increases the rate of speech and reduces self-focus. Sitting upright may be a simple behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress.”
What are the effects of bad posture?
It is important to note that bad posture isn’t something that is necessarily intentional. Inflexible muscles that decrease your range of motion or poor muscle strength could be affecting your posture. This has increasingly become a widespread problem as more and more people are working desk jobs where they don’t move around much during the day.
Whether due to stress, the subconscious need to get closer to the computer screen, or placed on an uncomfortable chair, slouching and sitting in odd positions, is normal. However, this does in turn have a direct impact on posture.
Strong, flexible muscles are required to maintain the correct posture while adapting to environmental changes and fighting against gravity. For example, weakened core muscles from sitting all day can directly affect your posture.
The good news? With just a little mindfulness, you could improve your posture. (Hence our suggested exercises with BBalance).
Simple posture exercises that strengthen your pelvic, neck, shoulder and abdominal muscles could be the key to better posture.
Plus, the benefits of good posture are endless. Reduced back pain, better breathing and fewer headaches, increased energy levels, decreased risk of injury, and improved circulation and digestion, are just some off the laundry list.
So what does good posture look like?
We like this description of how to achieve good posture by Harvard Medical School:
- Chin parallel to the floor
- Shoulders even (roll your shoulders up, back, and down to help achieve this)
- Neutral spine (no flexing or arching to overemphasize the curve in your lower back)
- Arms at your sides with elbows straight and even
- Abdominal muscles braced
- Hips even
- Knees even and pointing straight ahead
- Body weight distributed evenly on both feet
How can BBalance measure your posture?
With our pressure mapping technology on the surface of the Matscale™, we can measure the exact position of your center of pressure. With this position, we are able to compute the distribution of your physical force over a left/right axis and a front/back axis which is linked to your postural stability. Based on this we determine a score from 0 to 100.
This analysis is static, meaning that we are looking at the position of this pressure center and not at how it moves.
This analysis allows us to evaluate the condition of your body’s posture by showing any potential misalignment or imbalance in your standing position.
Overall, the long-term effects of good posture are clear. So, we just wanted you to know that when it comes to (B)Balance, we’ve literally got your back!