12:39 PM

Why It’s Actually So Hard To Sit Up Straight, According to a Physical Therapist

Well + Good offers insights from HSS physical therapist Thomas Mandala, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS on synergistic dominance, and exercises and techniques to improve posture.

“Synergistic dominance can be explained simply with one word: compensation,” said Mandala. “Our bodies are smart and will find a way to continue performing the motions we ask them to do. If the primary muscle that performs a motion is not working to its full capacity, then other muscles will work harder to compensate for that muscle,” he explained. While you may blame your shoulders and neck for your slouching, it’s also connected to other parts of your body. It’s assumed that slouching can lead to tight hip flexors. When that happens, you use your glutes less, so your hamstrings are forced to work harder, added Mandala.

“The advice we give patients is that ‘your best posture is your next posture,'” said Mandala. In other words, it’s impossible to maintain perfect posture all day long. Interrupting your posture every 30 minutes throughout the work day by sitting or standing can help prevent aches and pains. That alone is enough to make a noticeable difference, however, Mandala also suggested doing bridges and squats to a chair to help improve your glute activation and take some of that stress off of your hamstrings.

Read the full article at Wellandgood.com.