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Carol K. Sheats PT, OCS
Living Posture, LLC began as a PowerPoint presentation for the adult public.  It has grown to include programs for teenagers and young children ("Please Don't Sit Like a Banana").  The presentations are full of fun pictures that will help you recognize and encourage healthy posture throughout the day, especially with functional activities.  The information is available in books and DVD, by Carol Kabis Sheats, PT, OCS.  In addition to being a Physical Therapist for more than 19 years, Carol  is also an Orthopaedic Certified Specialist since 2002, and has experience in Yoga, Tai Chi, Karate, Pilates, Alexander Technique, and the Feldenkrais Method.  Most importantly, she credits Gregory and Vicky Johnson of the Institute of Physical Art for a great deal of her understanding of posture and function.

 

                                 

Carol presents a variety of programs for children and adults, including "Please Don't Sit Like a Banana". 

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 Sample of information in Living Posture:

LIVING POSTURE

Posture has more to do with our overall well-being than the average person realizes.  How does poor posture happen, and when does it begin?  It happens in cultures which sit too much, and it can begin at a very young age.  Notice how this 14-year-old boy's upper back is rounded and starting to look like the woman in her 80's with osteoporosis.

                            

We can learn to recognize early signs of poor posture, and correct them.  It is not only about how we sit and stand, but also how we move.  Good posture can help relieve and prevent pain.

 

When learning about efficient posture and function, there are three groups of people from whom you can learn a great deal.  The first group is young children, under the age of four.  The second group is athletes.  The third is people who do physical labor (farmers, carpenters, firefighters, etc…).  Young children use their bodies the way nature intended before being influenced by our society.  Athletes would not be able to perform their chosen sport if they were not efficient with their bodies.  Farmers, carpenters and firefighters would not be able to make it through their work day if they did not use their bodies well.  Notice sports pictures in newspapers and magazines.  You will note that often the back looks straight.   (The spine has natural curves, but the overall look is that of straightness.)

 

Pictures of athletes showing a straight spine are not hard to find because they function with a “neutral spine” often during their sport.  Besides a straight spine, you will also notice a second common factor: what is called “hip hinging”.   Begin to notice how young children under the age of four move.   Look at their backs and hips and see the similarities with athletes (Figure1 and 2).

Figure 1     Notice the similarities in the back and
hip positions of a football
player and a young boy. 
They both demonstrate good natural use of their bodies.
Figure 2     Notice the same similarities in the back and hip positions of a hockey player and a young girl.

A third common factor is their body weight is balanced over their base of support (their feet).  When we lean beyond our base of support, it is a strain on our body.  If you can mimic on a daily basis how the athlete and young child use their bodies, you will become more efficient with your own body.

Our culture has lost the art of teaching about good posture.  We think posture is about looks and not function.  We are further confused by the clothing and fashion industry.  The purpose of the book LIVING POSTURE is to educate you so that you will be able to recognize and demonstrate improved posture, and more importantly, that you will be able to teach and encourage young children to use their bodies the way nature intended.  Being an example of good posture will have a positive influence on those around you.  Life is about movement, therefore this book is meant to explain the use of our bodies as we  move throughout the day, as well as when sitting or standing.  I call this LIVING POSTURE, and it’s all about BALANCE.

 

Look again at the sports pictures and the children, and see the straight spine and hinging of the hips.  The most important thing to remember is the straight spine.  This will have application to your daily activities, whether you are sitting, standing, picking up a box, holding a baby, carrying a book bag, holding a laundry basket, eating a meal, doing work activities, or playing.  It can be a fun activity for you to begin observing body postures when people are both holding still and when they are moving.  Encourage your family to collect pictures and discuss what they see.  Have fun looking through old family photos.

 

You can purchase the DVD or spiral bound book now, or place orders by calling 302-378-8421.