The human posture can be defined as'' the position of one or more related segments of the body between them and their orientation in the surrounding area.''
The head, the pelvis, the trunk, lower limbs and feet, are called 'segments' and there are categorized as 'joints' spinal joints, hips, knees and joints of the shoulder.
The human posture is influenced by a number of related factors:
- Muscle tone (for example high or low);
- Body shape and measures (height and weight);
- The force of gravity;
- The soil surface (for example rough terrain or slope, sand, type of footwear);
- The purpose of our action;
- Duration in terms of time to obtain a specific posture;
- Health, mental well-being.
Therefore we consider posture as the interrelationship and interdependence between:
- Operation (including movement).
In absence of stability, the function (for example the ability to play, the use of communication tools, etc..) is inhibited. However, the stability can be obtained only through a high degree of comfort. The function instead can also be developed in absence of comfort or having a very reduced stability, but in this case would also have a very limited duration.
The balance must be well distributed between comfort, stability, and function.
Posture is important because it supports a wide range of daily functions and in addition to promoting physiological processes like breathing, watching, digesting, regulating body temperature, digestive and circulatory support.
But above all, it is worth noting the natural need of human beings to feel free to act at any time and for any reason in the most different circumstances by maintaining an upright position.
Authoritative studies (Howe and Oldha, 2001) claim that maintaining erect posture is considered as an active and dynamic process that emphasizes movement and function.
The same studies also argue that posture and movement are intrinsically linked to each other, defining the posture as a movement temporarily stopped but in constant change.
How the posture develops
At the time of birth, the child is still mainly in the fetal position (think of the classic C position that takes its body) posture with two primary spinal curves, better known as, thoracic curve and sacral curve.
When children learn to stand up the spine develops a secondary extension curve in the cervical region. Children learn to keep their head erect.
They develop the lumbar region and learn to balance in a useful way.
Postural control requires the achievement of physiological events that involve maturation of postural reactions (correct posture, parachute reactions and balance), the integration of primitive reflexes, normal muscle tone, physiological postural tone and voluntary movements.
Why is it important to stand
Humans were created to stand. When evolution takes place according to normal patterns, children begin to stand up around 9 months. Begin to turn around furniture, helping themselves by giving their hand up to the adult and therefore reach their independent around 12 months.
The aim is to deliberately move from place to place and reach their independence.
This move is taken for granted and normally we do not think about how important the upright position is.
In presence of cases of children with mild disabilities or important (such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, developmental delay, osteogenesis imperfecta, or disability due to fractures), the progressive and physiological development is not performed and being in standing on their own becomes an unattainable goal.
This is why it becomes extremely important to use vertical stabilization systems.