Doesn’t seem right that the posture we spend the most time doing is actually potentially harmful to our spine. Why is sitting a problem? OK, lets analyse this.
A good place to begin is the anatomy. Your spine has two types of normal curves which are vital to the optimal function of the central nervous system that it protects. Here’s what this means…The neck for example has the same shape of curvature as the lower back. Keeping these curvatures intact is very important to the health of our body because without them the normal functions of the different cells, tissue and systems are not possible. It is necessary for you to understand that abnormal function, that is too much or too fast, too little or too slow is not acceptable. When function is off, so is our life affected in every way with increasing evidence as time accumulates. So what does sitting have to do with anything? Here it is…When sitting with the head forward while driving, computing or texting you risk developing “text neck”. The head held in flexion looking downwards reverses the natural spine shape which when combined with intangibles like time and gravity results in altered movements and eventually wear and tear in the structures called arthritis – literally joint inflamed.
Sitting properly requires that we keep the lower spine in alignment which is only possible if we intentionally keep the shape of the curve or allow the same fate to occur as with the neck. But wait there’s more…When we sacrifice the posture of any spinal curve; all of the others are impacted equally. Posture is a key to health and well being. You can test this easily with muscle testing using the neck. Have your partner lower their chin toward the chest and test the strength of the arm muscles. Then compare this muscle with the head held in the upright position balanced on top of the body. You will immediately realize the importance of using your body according to its design.
One more aspect of posture is emotions. How does our alignment differ when we are upset or fearful? Think of the example of two dogs confronting. One is the alpha and will dominate while the other assumes the posture of the submissive weaker creature with its spine flexed fully and tail between the legs. We cannot grow and face life when we are constantly in defence. How we are feeling about ourselves shows up in how we hold ourselves as posture. To live well, we must figure out how to feel good as often as we can. Take this to heart by paying attention to your alignment in all dimensions. Care enough about yourself to choose the best attitude and stuff like chairs, car seats, mattresses, footwear and backpack that you can.
Oh and of course learn as much as you can about who you are so you may reveal your authentic self in your posture whether sitting or otherwise in each moment.