Posture and the Whole Person by Rebecca Dunstall (BSc Physiotherapy)
Posture and its physical effect on a person’s body shape and position is well accepted; it is clear that an unstable pelvis will affect trunk control, which in turn will affect head position, and so on. But what about the wider impact of poor posture?
I recently came across an interesting article in the Health Psychology journal1. Interestingly, the trial found that a poor posture affected mood, communication, focus, and even self-esteem – all vital components of good quality of life.
If you have attended a training event with me then you would have definitely heard me utter the word ‘holistic’ (on more than one occasion!), but what does this actually mean?
The English Oxford Dictionary defines ‘holistic’, in relation to medicine, as:
‘…the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease2’
A holistic approach ensures person-centred care – not a narrow focus on the diagnosis but also the person’s well being and their social and cultural background3.
When thinking about seating, it is crucial that we consider the person holistically; a comprehensive assessment will probe for the following information:
Finding out this information will not only ensure appropriate prescription, but will also ensure correct, safe and consistent chair use.
How can CareFlex help?
CareFlex offer a free no obligation seating assessment where we will work with the person and their support network. A comprehensive assessment will take place with a thorough history taking, a physical analysis, and chair trial.
References
1. Nair S, Sagar M, Sollers J 3rd, Consedine N, Broadbent E (2015) Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial Health Psychology 34(6):632-41
2. English Oxford Living Dictionaries (2019) holistic Available from: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/holistic
3. The Health Foundation (2016) Person-centred care made simple, What everyone should know about person-centred care Available from: https://www.health.org.uk/sites/default/files/PersonCentredCareMadeSimple.pdf