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General Fitness>>Posture - 1/6/2007

v    Good posture is good prevention.   With poor posture, your bones are not properly aligned, and your muscles, joints, and ligaments take more strain than nature intended. 


v    Faulty posture may cause you fatigue, muscular strain, and, in later stages, pain.


v    Many individuals with chronic back pain can trace their problems to years of faulty postural habits.


v    Poor posture can affect the position and function of your vital organs, particularly those in the abdominal region.


v    A healthy back has three natural curves:  Cervical (slight forward curve), Thoracic (slight backward curve), and Lumbar (slight forward curve). 


v    Strong and flexible muscles are essential to good posture.  Abdominal, hip, and leg muscles that are weak and inflexible cannot support your back’s natural curves.


v    Sedentary lifestyle and prolonged sitting can shorten various muscle groups which results in the body being pulled forward into poor postural positions.  This stretches and weakens muscles that allows the body to slump.


v    Throughout the day, concentrate on keeping your three natural curves in balanced alignment.


v    Keep your weight down.  Excess weight exerts a constant forward pull on your back muscles and stretches and weakens the muscles of the abdomen.


v    Protect your back by using good body mechanics and posture.  Bend your knees when picking up objects to maintain your natural lumbar curve. 


v    Exercises that focus on strengthening the postural muscles ( scapular muscles, abdominals, and hip extensors) aid in maintaining good posture.

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