What does posture have to do with stress?

How do you posture yourself in business? Or in a relationship? Has anyone ever asked you that question?

Or, how about this? Are you postured for success?

Like Gina has been saying, the word posture gets used a lot, but really... what does it mean?

Most of us, when we think about posture, think about how we stand, or how we sit; basically, the shape our bodies take while holding still. But, that's really only a small part of a much larger scenario.

Posture is also how you move, how you carry yourself, and how you position yourself in relation to a stress/work load.

Again, as Gina mentioned previously, we have a tendency to think about posture as either 'good' or 'bad. But in relation to what? What are the marker that determine excellent posture from poor posture?

At Posturing for Health, one of our goals is to demystify truths about health and 'well-being'.

For this reason, when you hear the word 'posture', we want you to think of a very simple math formula.

In fact, I want you to memorize it and refer to it throughout your day:


That, my friends, is how we define posture.

No matter what the application (i.e., posturing yourself in business, posturing yourself in a relationship, posturing yourself for success, pr posturing yourself for health), the same formula applies.

This becomes especially relevant when considering the role posture plays in handling stress.

Think about it.

If you are lifting a heavy box of books, the first thing to make sure of is that your feet are on a flat and reliable surface.


You also want to pay attention to how you lift the box (i.e., with your legs, and not your back!), and whether you carry it off to one side, or out in front.

That's called CENTERING.

All the while, understanding the forces at work, and working with them as opposed to against, is all part of ALIGNMENT.

When these three bases are covered, you can be said to have good, or rather, appropriate posture.

In the next post, we'll give you an example of this formula in action.

Good posture is not really what we're after

In the last post, I mentioned that the word "posture" can be misleading.

One, it’s because we tend to understand it more as an appearance, rather than a physical state based on biomechanical principles.

("Biomechanical": relating to the mechanical laws concerning the movement or structure of living organisms.)

Two, it suggests that there’s one best way to stand or sit or walk, when really, this relationship between our parts, and between our parts as a whole and our stress loads, is dynamic and ever-changing.

Even the word, alignment* (while sometimes used interchangeably with posture, is actually quite different) can mistakenly suggest a static position, and so what most of us end up trying to do is hold our bodies in a position or posture or in an alignment that we believe is ‘good’.

And, if this is you, how's that workin' for ya? Not so well, I'm guessing...

(* "Alignment": arrangement in a straight line, or in correct or appropriate relative positions.)

"Correct" and "appropriate" positions imply an objective reality we would be measuring ourselves against to be considered in alignment. And, there is something to that, in terms of how the effects of gravity transfer through our own physical mass, particularly through the bones and joints, over the course of a lifetime.

The challenge is understanding that alignment can't be forced. It's the natural result of cultivating a state brought about by the balanced relationship between muscular strength, muscular yield, joint mobility ... and, how we're using our bodies on a day-to-day basis.

So, what we're really after is mobility. Functionality. Range of motion. It's my belief that true 'alignment' can't be forced by chronic tension holding patterns.

In other words, 'alignment happens'. And, therefore, 'good posture'.

(Did you get my free ebook, "Six Things You Can STOP Doing if You Want Better Posture"? If not, grab it here.)

In the next post, Bill will give you another way to think about posture and what it has to do with stress.