Ideal Standing Posture
Aligning certain landmarks of the body in reference to the center of gravity line assesses the standing posture. Kendall, et al. (2005) described the ideal posture as an alignment of the ear (external auditory meatus), with the tip of the shoulder (acromioclavicular joint), side of the hip (greater trochanter of the femur), behind the side of the kneecap (posterior to patella), and ankle (just anterior to the lateral malleolus). Allowing the body to balance in maximal joint stability. An ‘ideal posture’ is defined as a neutral state of musculoskeletal balance involving a minimal amount of stress or strain to the body.2
It seems simple. If muscles interact in harmony with the skeletal and nervous system, there should be no problem! ‘Incorrect posture’ includes forward head tilt, hunched back, swayed back, rolled shoulders and/or torso rotation.
A postural change out of the ideal posture for a prolonged duration will lead to numerous acute and chronic problems. Altered biomechanics of posture places the muscles under unnecessary stress.
Imagine wearing high heels…
What do you think happens (besides the fact that you ‘grow’ horizontally)?
Your knees will shift forward, placing stress on your hips and back. These body landmarks shift out of the ‘ideal posture’. That is, wearing high heels can cause aberrant loading in the standing position. Imagine the imbalanced forces when running and lifting weights in high heels…
Posture is not just how your body is depicted whilst standing. It is translated into other various other positions, such as sitting, sleeping, working, exercising, etc. Be aware of your body position in every motion of your life.
1.Kendall, FP, McCreary, EK, Provance, PG, Rodgers, M, and Romani, W. (2005). Muscle: Testing and Function, with Posture and Pain (Kendall, Muscles) 5th edn. LWW, US.
2.Janda, W. (1994) Muscles and motor control in cervicogenic disorders: Assessment and management. In R Grant (Ed.), Physical therapy of cervical and thoracic spine (pp. 195-216): Churchill Livingstone.