Is it important to set an example on the High Street?

Women, men, girls and boys walk up and down the high street, admiring clothes as they look in the windows of the shops displaying the latest fashion. We learn how to do things and what is right and wrong from the environment that surrounds us. We copy and recreate images and actions that we see. Isn’t it interesting that clothing is displayed on models with such poor posture?

If you wandered around or stood as these models do you would have all sorts of back, neck, knee issues. I wonder why it is that we would show clothes off in such a way, we are influencing the next generation with poor advice on how to stand, walk, sit without even realising. Psychologically we absorb these images and then adopt them, we absorb the habits of our parents and the people around us – the people that we spend the most time with. This happens partly through copying and partly subconsciously because the human brain likes similarity to make friends and be accepted. Have you ever wondered why sometimes two friends become really like each other, in how they sit, how they walk, eat and play – their mannerisms, this is the “nature” part of “nature or nurture” without realising.

It can even manefest quite simply when one is having coffee with a friend, or sitting in a bar with a someone you are comfortable with, you end up sitting the same, legs crossed, arm on the table, drink with the same arm etc, we do this without realising.

The correct way to stand, walk, sit, and be active is in a neutral spine position.

When in neutral spine one has all the vertebrae and discs sitting flat to flat and so there is optimum shock absorption to protect the brain from impact in the skull, and also the impact of the movement is spread across the entire surface of the discs and vertebra due to the shape and curves of the spinal column. Also when flat the bearing surface is even and so the body loads up with a central force down through the column and so there is less likely to be damage and inflammation which can cause aggravation at the facet joints which often impinges nerves and causes referred pain elsewhere.

When one has the head in this forward head posture, it is impossible to have a neutral spine, the head is heavy – when it is 15 degrees forward it has doubled in weight. This creates a huge load on the neck and pressure on the spine causing it to bow out backwards and load the discs and vertebrae incorrectly, making it impossible to stay in neutral spine.

Head position showing the effect of loads on the spine

How do you know when you are in neutral spine and correct posture? The best way is to have someone look at you – which is exactly what we do – we assess your Biomechanics and functional movement, take a look at the posture and take a look at the bodies ability to be correct at rest as well as in action. You will come away with tangible reference points to be able to recreate the correct body position and replicate it in your normal routine and life. One of the notable differences with what we do is we actually embed new movement patterns into your everyday activities and so speed up the process of change, recovery, improved performance or reduced pain. Images showing ideal posture or neutral spine position.