What is stability and why does it matter?

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  • December 17, 2018

What is stability?

Stability is your ability to stay upright. In a broad sense, it refers to your balance. But it is more than staying steady on your feet.

And it is not just about preventing falls as you get older, or reserved for the world of sport.

Keeping your body balanced and your posture stable has positive health benefits.

So let’s take a closer look and what it involves, and why it matters.

 

What is stability?

What is stability?

 

 

Understanding why posture and stability matter

How you hold your body matters. You should look to optimise your posture as much as possible.

It matters because it can help guard against both acute and chronic injuries. It also allows you to go about your day in a more efficient and effective manner.

In fact, Sports Medicine and other disciplines look at all aspects of stability. For example, they assess how balanced you are under different conditions.  ‘Postural steadiness‘ refers to how balanced you are when you are static. On the other hand, ‘postural stability‘ takes into consideration how balanced you are when moving.

Quite simply, there is an optimal way to balance the body in most situations. And it doesn’t matter if you are sitting or standing, moving or stationary.

What helps to keep you stable?

One of the most talked about topics in the last twenty years has been ‘core stability‘. It looks at the importance of the body’s trunk. This is essentially the part of the body that excludes the head and limbs.

The underlying belief is that if your trunk muscles function well they will help to improve posture and enable you to move more freely.

In fact, according to the Harvard Medical Scool, maintaining a strong core is a great long-term strategy for avoiding neck pain.

It certainly can’t harm, and core exercises are extremely well catered for now through practices such as yoga and Pilates.

Other aspects of stability

There are a number of other factors that are critical for good stability. And whilst looking after your core can be a step in the right direction, it is worth investigating these measures as well.

Although science gives fancy names to some of these principles, they are fairly easy to understand.

You need to be aware of what your body parts are doing when you move. This body awareness relies in part on proprioceptors. These are sensors that lie deep within tissue and send signals and feedback to your brain.

Unfortunately, injury can have a negative impact on proprioception. It is therefore important to make sure that injuries are fully rehabilitated.

There is also a visual aspect to good balance and stability. And it is not just about being able to see well. For good balance, you need to be able to make sense of the information you receive visually.

If you learn how to juggle, it can not only be fun but can improve your coordination and visual acuity.

Practical tips for improving stability

You can improve your balance and stability in so many different ways.

You can use Wobble cushions and wobble boards to vary your workout. They are often used for rehabilitation but are increasingly used during normal workouts.

Also, making slight variations to the way you workout can help too. Try incorporating more unilateral (one-sided) exercises into your routine.

And, taking advantage of large muscle group movements can help. Doing squats and lunges is a great way to improve stability.

And stability matters long-term as well

If you think about it logically, ageing is inevitable. When you see the older generation shuffling around gingerly, you need to remind yourself that this doesn’t happen overnight.

If you improve your balance it will benefit you in the short-term and long-term.

Take a deeper look into it. Get some expert advice on the changes you can make to improve your stability.

Contact us at Perea Clinic. We will be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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