Is Posture Correction Important?
One can't go too far in any discussion about the need for posture correction before the conversation begins to get a little fuzzy, or starts to drift off course. Posture is a rather complex subject. Describing good posture, poor posture, or really bad posture is not really as easy as it might seem, as all are rather subjective terms. You'll be hard pressed to define just where the boundary line between good posture and poor posture is, and find it harder still to be aware of when you're crossing over that line, going in either direction.
When we were young, our mother was constantly telling us to “stand up straight”, “sit up straight”, or “don't slouch”. Mothers seem to have an eye for that, while no one else, except drill sergeants, seem to care all that much. Standing at attention, which you do quite a bit of if you're in the military, is considered the epitome of good posture while in a standing position. Yet, it's a somewhat unnatural position. Standing at attention is something most of us can't do very much of without beginning to feel uncomfortable, with the result that even though we may be standing ramrod straight, we aren't really at attention, because when we're uncomfortable our mind, and our attentiveness, starts to wander. The military recognizes this, which is when something is explained in detail, you're usually allowed to stand in the more natural “at ease” posture.
It almost seems like posture correction is more of a cultural thing than a health thing. We as individuals seldom do much about correcting our posture. For one thing, we don't really know what correct posture is unless someone else tells us what it is. Admittedly if we saw soldiers slouching at attention we might have some doubts as to their sense of discipline and fighting ability. Slouching soldiers don't look much like fighters, but that doesn't mean they're not. The person who sits at the dinner table with his face 6 inches above the soup dish looks a lot less refined than the person beside him who is sitting straight. The person slouching over is quite possibly much more comfortable, and also less likely to spill his soup, but in our culture he gives the appearance of being either lazy or uncouth. The truth is, the person sitting bolt upright doesn't have all that good posture either as the stiff-backed position isn't natural. Both of these people could take a lesson in posture correction.
Don't Force Yourself Into Posture Correction - What makes posture correction a difficult process is whatever posture we assume is usually done without giving it any conscious thought, and unless we are somehow being forced into an unnatural position, which an uncomfortable chair, or one that is too low or too high may force us into, we are usually in a fairly natural position, which is doing our body no great harm. To try to correct that position and sit up straight for example, requires conscious thought and also requires our muscles to work, which may cause them to tense and become strained or tired.
Following this line of thought it may begin to sound that slouching is all right and sitting up straight or walking with your shoulders straight and eyes straight ahead isn't really meaningful. Is good posture a bunch of baloney?
Good Posture Should Be Natural - Good posture is definable up to a point, and good posture is good for your body. The thing is, good posture is something you really have to figure out for yourself, although there's no harm in listening to the opinions of others. After all, it's nice to be a little in tune with the rest of society in terms of your general appearance. Standing straight and walking without slouching is good for your and looks good, but there are limits as to how straight you want your back to be and for how long. Above all you want your posture and your movements to be natural. Not just appear natural but be natural.
Be Active, The Body Will Follow - The steps to posture correction can be summed up as follows. Accept the fact you have poor posture, assuming you do. Learn what good posture is. Your mother knows best, the drill sergeant may overdo thing, but he's on the right track too. Get active. An active body tends to automatically correct posture, because good posture makes movement and activity more efficient and comfortable. In other words, your body will teach itself good posture, and as it gets stronger will tend to maintain that good posture. Is posture correction important? That's something you should try to decide for yourself.