Thursday, 17 June 2010

What's posture got to do with it?























You may not think there is an obvious connection between your posture and concentration, but if you are someone who spends long hours sitting at a desk or working on a keyboard (IT or musical), your posture can make a big difference to how long your concentration levels hold.

It's actually very simple.

Bad posture causes poor breathing patterns, restricted circulation, muscular strain and repetitive strain injuries, which can not only sap energy (because negative patterns of muscular use use up more energy than positive ones) but can also cause constant, low-grade physical pain.

But there's lots you can do if you think your posture might be at fault.

Take a look at how you sit - slumped middle, crossed legs, rounded shoulders, craning neck - all of which will create problems in the long term. And if your muscle tone is flabby, you will be relying on tendons and ligaments instead, running the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI).

Make sure your desk, chair and screen - if you are working at a computer - are at the right height for you. Sit on an exercise ball rather than a chair to help engage your core abdominal muscles while you sit, and prevent you from slouching. Keep feet flat on the floor, hips and knees at right angles.

Exercise to keep those core muscles strong will also help. Pilates is excellent for this, but also other exercise like T'ai Chi and yoga will improve posture. Check in with the posture experts, Alexander Technique teachers, to help correct body mis-alignment and poor posture. If you work with any sort of personal trainer, they should also be eagled-eye about your posture to avoid injury when you exercise.

Freeing up your posture, alleviating the tension in the many muscle groups from shoulders to calves, will also improve blood circulation - which carries oxygen to the brain - keeping those neurons happily energised and your ability to concentrate enhanced.

Do this now and your body and brain will thank you when you're 80!

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