Good Posture Basic To Good Health

Personal trainer Li Si Yang is on a mission to help people stand up straighter, and ultimately live healthier lives.

“It’s important to have good posture because it affects your muscles, your joints, your ligaments, your tendons,” says Yang. “When you’re out of alignment, everything is being pulled in one direction, causing imbalance which can cause chronic pain.

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Li Si Yang demonstrates what bad posture looks like: Your head is forward, shoulders are rounded, bad arch in your lower back. NATHALIE WALKER PHOTOS

“Also, when you’re exercising it causes the wrong muscle to activate.”

In an effort to educate the public on the importance of good posture, Yang is offering free one-hour basic posture workshops Sept. 10 at 8:15 p.m. and Sept. 11 at 6:45 p.m. at Honolulu Club; and Sept. 13 at 5:15 p.m. at the Still and Moving Center in Kakaako.

At these workshops, she’ll explain what good and bad posture looks like (see picture 1A and 1B), and show how you can correct your posture through simple stretches and exercises. She also wants to raise awareness of the harmful effects of daily prolonged sitting.

“These days, people are spending more and more time sitting in front of a computer — at work and at home,” says Yang. “I say sitting is the new smoking. You’re always in this position, and it can do harm to you.

“Your head is forward from staring at the screen all day long, and your shoulders are rounded from slouching. Also, one shoulder is lower from using the mouse.”

Carrying a heavy purse on one shoulder, or a baby on the same hip for a long period of time, also are common causes of misalignment, notes Yang.

“Some women have one shoulder that is lower from carrying a heavy purse,” she says. “Ideally, your purse should be under 3 pounds.”

A simple test to see if you have bad posture is to stand up against a wall. Yang says your ears should be aligned with your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.

“Bad posture affects the way you look and your overall health,” she says. “If you have bad posture, the biggest thing to do is figure out the misalignment, and then stretch and strengthen it back to proper alignment. It’s something you have to learn by doing.”

To sign up for Yang’s upcoming workshops, visit honoluluclub.com or stillandmovingcenter.com. For more information, visit journeytofitness.com.

yting@midweek.com