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Posture, How it Develops and Why Standing is Important


Human posture can be defined as, “the position of one or many body segments in relation to one another and their orientation in space” (Ham et al, p26).  The head, trunk, pelvis, lower limbs and feet are known as body ‘segments’, while spinal joints, hips, knees, ankle and shoulder joints are considered the body ‘linkages’ (Pope 2002).

Human posture is influenced by a number of interconnected factors:
• muscle tone (i.e. high or low)
• body shape and size (i.e. height and weight)
• gravity
• the surface (e.g. uneven ground, slopes, sand, footwear)
• the task in hand
• length of time required to be in a particular posture
• level of health, well-being or emotional state

Therefore, posture can be seen as the inter-relation and inter-dependency between:
• comfort
• stability
• function (including movement)
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