Tag Archives: slouching
BODY LANGUAGE AND POSTURE
Body language consists of the signals sent to others by the position and condition of your body. It’s what you say with your body rather than with words – What is your body saying?
Posture and body language is almost a specialty in itself. What does your posture say about you? Or rather, what do other people think your posture says about you? Just by seeing how you carry yourself, what impression do they form of you? Oh if only ‘we’ knew what ‘they’ were thinking…
Now here’s a question for you: Have you ever seen a confident person with terrible posture? Exactly!
BODY LANGUAGE AND POSTURE ADVICE
There are plenty of people and books and blogs and the like, educating, counselling, teaching and preaching on body language. Many of these body linguists offer to help you develop posture body language that will make you a more effective speaker or presenter, some will even teach you flirting body language. Oh, my goodness, they really go to town on this one. In fact, I just recently heard about a documentary (Ok, actually, I watched it!) on the BBC, called “Virgin School,” of all things. It concerns a 26-year-old male virgin who travels to Amsterdam to become…well, yes – a non-virgin. Now what in the name of all that’s respectable does THIS have to do with posture?? Well, the poor lad’s posture was so atrocious, I couldn’t help but think, no wonder you haven’t got ****. Actually, I don’t really mean that at all. I thought the young man was a good chap and nice looking. I just couldn’t get over my frustration. Why hasn’t anyone helped him with his terrible posture? His sex coaches in Amsterdam certainly didn’t address it. Shame on them. Try slouching really badly, then look in the mirror and act sexy. Nada!
So quite in addition to the enormous benefits good posture (fewer headaches, increased lung capacity, perky breasts, less constipation) offers in terms of general health, your posture may be speaking its very own language.
YOUR POSTURE AND BODY LANGUAGE: WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?
What signals is your body language sending? Are your posture’s pronouncements prompting appreciation, or putting people off?
- The sloucher (I’m not confident, I’ve been bullied, I don’t care…harsh but this is what I think when I see this posture)
- No eye contact (liar liar pants on fire, scared, shifty character)
- Eyes boring a hole through you (criminal, thyroid disease)
- The limp-wristed handshake (I’m hiding please don’t talk to me, I might cry)
- The ‘cut off the blood flow’ handshake (I’m so unconfident, I’ll squeeze the hell out of your hand and you’ll never know it)
- Playing with your hair (flirting, hair needs a shampoo?)
- Legs akimbo (Sharon Stone Basic Instinct, man, confident woman?)
- The leg crossed and twisted (Does your chiropractor know you sit like that? I think not!)
I could go on and on and on. I’m cracking myself up now. Lets keep this list going……
Top 10 Posture Problems
These are the top 10 biggest posture issues reported by my posture pupils….
1) Forward Head Posture (34%)
A whopping 34% of you listed ‘forward head posture’ as your biggest posture issue. Some of you described your fhp as: forward head position, forward head problem, head forward, head jutting forward, forward neck, lean forward neck, anterior head and forward hanging head. Watch my most popular video HERE (with over 185,000 views….wow wow and wow….thanks for watching!!) and learn how to correct your fhp.
2) Neck Hump (13%)
Some of you refer to your neck humps as: fatty hump, humpy (my fave), hump under neck, lump at base of neck, slight bended neck, hump at neck and small fatty hump.
Before I go on, I know some of you want more than the 2-3 minute head and neck videos provided on my website. I get dozens of questions from you asking me what I think is wrong with your posture. Here is an example:
Thank you I took your advice and saw a local chiropractor (I don’t live in your country unfortunately) and he took X-rays and the area where C meets T has moved forward but above this point there is no curve it is a straight line. The combination of the two makes my head look quite forward. Doing this and your other head back, chin tucked in video I have noted an amazing change in just four weeks. Would a neck roll help too? Do I need X rays for your posture analysis service?
3) Round Shoulders (13%)
You also called it: shoulder rounding, tight shoulders, tight pecs, painful shoulders, shoulder pain, rolled shoulders, weakness in shoulder blades, slumped shoulders and tense shoulders.
4) Low Back Pain (8%)
You also referred to your back pain and sore low back. Try my lumbar posture videos. So instead of boring you with endless links, why not peak over to the right of this page and check out categories. You’ll find everything from bunions to muscles and stretches to flexibility exercises and even questions answered.
5) Neck Pain (8 %)
You also referred to your, sore neck, back of neck and lower neck.
6) Slouching (7%)
But you also say: slump forward, slump, slouching back, dowagers, hunch back, slouchy and slouch.
7) Curved Back (5%)
Some of you get quite technical and describe your scoliosis, upper back curve, kyphosis, dorsal pain, upper back pain and straightening of curve.
8) Lordosis (3%)
You tell me about your hyperlordosis, sway back and anterior pelvic tilt.
I go into depth on sway back posture (Type A Posture) in my book Posture Give It To Me Straight.
9) Disc (2%)
Also your bulging disc, disc degeneration and slipped disc.
10) Hip Joint (2%)
Your sacro-iliac joint and hip.
Lets not end the discussion here. I want to keep adding to these statistics. What is your number one burning posture bugbear?
Posture supports – claims aplenty, but do they really hold up?
If you’ve spent much time in search of a remedy for bad posture, you have no doubt heard about posture support devices. I’m talking here about the sort one wears, such as a lumbar support for low back pain (LBP), or a shoulder support to correct rounded shoulders by forcing them back. You’ll hear all sorts of claims for such devices, but do they really lead to good posture?
Posture Support – Fact or Fiction?
My hypothesis is that while such devices may offer temporary benefits in some circumstances, they are not really effective in the long run.
It may even be that supports for poor posture prolong the problem and prevent a real solution. Since the support is artificially holding the head, neck or a portion of the back in a particular position, the muscles that should be doing the work aren’t allowed to. Deprived of their rightful jobs, these poor indigent muscles may weaken and atrophy (wither away). No one likes to be given the sack – not even muscles!
Sticky Tape versus Real Solutions
When there is a posture problem of any sort, it is there for a reason. The real answer is to discover the underlying cause, then take steps to address the cause.
You see, the problem that’s observed outwardly (rounding shoulders, low back pain, forward head posture) is never just a singular issue. Applying a support or a brace is a bit like putting sticky tape over the oil warning light in your car: It might make you feel better for a while, but the problem hasn’t gone away, and may worsen. Sooner or later you’re going to have to do something about it.
Let’s take shoulder pain as an example. The list of possible causes is long, and there is certainly no universal solution, right for all of them. So how can anyone make the broad claim that their elastic brace, special pillow, High-Tech Wonder Contraption™ or secrets-of-the-ancient-Peruvians magic crystal healing necklace is going to end every shoulder pain sufferer’s woes? That’ silly – to put it charitably.
Is There a Straight Solution?
“All right, but what about my posture?” you ask. “How do I get to the underlying cause of my own posture problems? How do I achieve healthy posture?”
Happily, it may be that the root of your difficulty can be found with a simple, inexpensive posture analysis. I’ve had some extremely exciting successes with it, helping people gain better posture and all the health benefits it brings. You can learn more about this service right here.
I can’t guarantee you perfect posture. No one can, honestly. But healthy posture can be yours, most definitely!
A parting thought…
Speaking of achieving good posture, have you noticed that some mums (other people’s mums, of course!) seem to believe nagging about bad posture is a sovereign remedy? Professionally speaking, I haven’t found it to be a reliable cure. In any case, you could hardly classify nagging and nattering as posture support now, could you?
I won’t nag about it, but I’d surely appreciate hearing from you. Write (use that box down below) and share your posture woes and the most outlandish posture correction device you’ve ever seen or tried.
How To Gain Height Naturally
Are you worried you will shrink like your parents?
This is a real concern in the western world where 30% of people sit for more than 10 hours a day!
If you want to avoid shrinking then you need to stop the forward flexion in your body that causes spinal discs to wear out and degenerate over time. Slouching causes a forward bending that collapses the vertebral discs causing them to wear over time. As they dry out and crack, the liquid centre leaks, the vertebrae get closer together (causing loss of height) and we get stiff, painful backs. What Is Wear and Tear?
Most of us forgot how to stand from the years of sitting and lack of core strength. I teach my patients to think of a balloon attached to their heads and chest and lifting them taller. It isn’t so much a pushing the shoulders back but more of a gentle lengthening that isn’t forced. It feels good and looks confident and attractive and that seems a fine reason to do it don’t you think?!
Slouching is good for you!
Maybe I’m stretching the truth a little bit. It’s not that slouching is good for you all the time but it is better than holding any one static position for any length of time. If you’ve got an eye on that expensive office chair, maybe think again.
Do you ever wonder why kids fidget constantly? It’s because they know what’s good for their central nerve systems. So that is what you have got to do. I want you to fidget, stir and wiggle in your chair.
So it really doesn’t matter what kind of chair you have. If you have a really comfortable expensive office chair, you are going to stay stuck in one position and your back is not going to like you very much.
So fidget! Better yet, get a Swiss Ball and sit on that!
Top 5 Causes Of Bad Posture
Here is a list of the top five causes of bad posture, in response to the many patients that I see who ask me why they have it. This list is by no means exhaustive but include the main causes I have found over the last decade in private practice as a chiropractor.
1. Trauma & injury
2. Bad habits
4. Wear & Tear
5. Foot position
Trauma & Injury
This includes anything from birth (forceps, breech, ventouse) to childhood (falls and breaks) to adulthood (accidents and falls from horses, stairs, ladders, motorbikes etc). Trauma in childhood can affect growth plates in bone affecting healthy growth and perhaps predisposing your joints to wear and tear.
Bad habits can be thought of broadly as slouching. Prolonged postures (gaming, desk work, car journeys, couch potato) all cause muscles to fatigue, shorten and weaken over time. Slouching is the certain evil of prolonged sitting. So kids have it right: fidget, wiggle and stir!
This has some overlap with slouching and also affects seniors most who have become inactive. Use it or lose it is a great motto to exercise by. Lack of exercise will definitely lead to a weak core (abdominals particularly). When the core is weak, the body takes on less mechanically optimal positions (think of a teetering Jenga pile). Yoga, Alexander Technique, Pilates, martial arts are just a few of the many approaches to re-training your core.
Wear & Tear
Lets set the record straight. Wear and tear is osteoarthritis When cartilage wears it rarely wears in a symmetrical way. This allows joints to realign in a less optimum position. This is one way that I can often diagnose osteoarthritis just from my observation of a patient’s posture. The most accurate way to diagnose osteoarthritis however is by x-ray.
People with fallen arches known as overpronation often develop a resultant bending in of the knee on the same side (knock knee sort of appearance). This is more of a problem if the overpronation is on only on one side. This may result in the pelvis dropping down to that side with a resultant ‘short leg’ that chiropractors are particularly interested in assessing.
Other Causes of Bad Posture
I could add to the above list: congenital (spine deformities and genetic diseases) and posture relating to emotions (hiding tallness, hiding weight, hiding a large or small chest for girls, shyness, anxiety etc). This list is by no means exhaustive.
Posture is fascinating and it is challenging to stick to the bare bones and only list 5 causes of bad posture but these are the causes that I most frequently diagnose.