Gravity and its effect on Posture
Gravity is with us from the time of our conception to the moment of death. It is so all pervading that we cannot sense it, for humans perceive sensory stimulation only as it varies. (We recognize light because there are periods of darkness, sound because we know quiet.) We do not sense gravity, but we do adjust to it. We must. (Dr. I.P. Rolf)
What do we mean?
Imagine water flowing down a stream or river. The movement is in one direction – going from a high point to a low point. Often the water will create its own path, changing the landscape to direct and control the natural flow. This process is gravity in action.
The effect of gravity on posture can be either positive or negative. When aligned with correct posture patterns the body works to minimise the impact of gravity. However, as poor posture habits show themselves, unnecessary strain can develop, moving us away from alignment and toward discomfort and dis-ease. Muscles of the neck, shoulders, back, and legs will work harder to support an upright posture. If this extra workload is allowed to continue the potential for injury, long-term pain, and discomfort increases many fold.
We all need the major segments of the body (pelvis on legs, torso on pelvis, shoulders and neck on torso) sitting comfortably, one above the other for good posture to be present. If this isn’t happening then the body is in conflict with gravity – a relentless force that is present 24 hours a day.
A technical definition of Gravity
“Gravity…is measured as the weight of the body applied through the centre of gravity of the body and directed towards the earth’s axis. The closer a body is to the earth’s centre, the greater is the gravitational pull and, therefore, the more it weighs.” (Kinesiology: Scientific basis of human motion, 8th edition; p. 355)
Look out for more to come...