Posture

At Avalon, we firmly believe in the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, of which maintaining a
correct posture is vital. Correct posture is a simple but very important way to keep the
many intricate structures in the spine healthy. Good posture and back support are critical
to reducing the incidence and levels of back pain and neck pain. Britnell et al. (2005)
define posture as a state of skeletal and muscular balance and alignment that
protects the supporting structures of the body from progressive deformity and injury.
Whether a person is erect, lying, squatting or stooping, good posture allows the
muscles of the body to function with maximum efficiency

Not maintaining good posture and adequate back support can add strain to muscles and
put stress on the spine. Over time, the stress of poor posture can change the anatomical
characteristics of the spine, leading to the possibility of constricted blood vessels and
nerves, as well as problems with muscles, discs, and joints. These can be major
contributors to back and neck pain, and have a detrimental effect on our respiratory,
digestive and cardiovascular systems.

Basically, having correct posture means keeping each part of the body in alignment with
the neighbouring parts. The heights of the shoulders, hips and knees are equal and
you hold your head level. From a side view, we can easily draw a straight, vertical
line from the exact centre of your head through your shoulder, hip and knee to your
ankle. When your spine is in proper position, there is a gentle forward curve in the
neck (cervical curve), a slight backward curve in the upper back (thoracic curve) and
a gentle forward curve in the low back (lumbar curve). These curves are essential to
optimize our ability to move fluidly and adapt to stressors. With optimal posture, we
are aligned and in balance, breathing and moving easier.

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