The P-word. And no, I’m not talking about poop; I’m talking about posture. The first thing that usually comes to mind when one thinks of posture is your mom or teacher telling you to sit up and stop slouching. Once we are adults, the habit has been ingrained in us and we not only feel guilty for not listening, but we blame any pain we have in our back on bad posture. So we tell ourselves to sit up straight, and 30 seconds later, we’re slouching all over again.
I personally think it’s all about the chairs. I feel like since I was a kid, the level of comfort we receive from sitting in a chair has dramatically increased. Whether it was in my Sunday school classroom, elementary school classroom, or even at home, I feel like the chairs were never comfortable as a kid. As time went on, though, the chairs got comfier. We got a new couch at home. In school, we got those chairs that you could lean back on. (I don’t think we ever got new chairs at church). Before you knew it, instead of sitting straight up because your butt hurt so much, we were sitting back and letting our shoulder roll forward.
Then we went to college, got jobs, and now sit down for half the day either in the car, at our computer desks, or sitting to eat, with our shoulder rolled forward. Now your posture is ingrained into your neural pathways. Your brain thinks, best position is neck forward, shoulders forward, lean back. You can’t just turn off that switch, either. That’s why even when you try to cue yourself to sit up, your just fall right back into your previous position.
How do I fix my bad posture?
Ahh…that’s the question. Hold on. Let me get my wand and reparo (another Harry Potter reference). It’s not that easy is it. I joke because there’s no magic trick. Fixing bad posture first involves recognizing that your body, that is your neuromuscular system (I know, I know, more than three syllables on a Friday! I’m truly sorry. Really difficult in a medical blog, let me tell you), is programmed to revert back to that bad posture program. And in order to change that program, you have to install a new program. So, how do you change the program?
That’s tomorrow’s post. (Doesn’t this feel like a TV show, when they leave you on the edge of your seat for next week’s episode. Except, unless you are reading this post as it goes live, all you have to do is read Day 6, right now. For those of you faithful same day readers…stay tuned).