Head Forward Posture: What Is Up With This Picture?

Head forward posture is a problem for so many people.Would you look at the heads in the picture above! This photo was randomly put up on Facebook (by Jim De Seve) and all I could see was the heads. Of the six people that we can see the only one whose head is relatively over their shoulders in the guy in white on the left in the back. He is also fairly vertical in a very nice way- unfortunately it is all downhill from there. Head forward posture is our most common postural misalignment.

Let’s start with the lady in pink who is on the left between the other women and the man in white. The pink lady has a kyphosis of the upper back that is thrusting her into head forward posture. Not that that’s an excuse but it doesn’t leave her head with a lot of options.

The turquoise lady is leaning forward in a nice way and has her left leg under the pelvis but her head is leading the way by a good few inches. The same goes for the man in grey in the back. He is essentially leading with his chin. We’ll excuse the jacketed guy who is leading the pack as he seems to be examining something on his hand. I thought it was a cell phone but on closer inspection his hands seem empty. Though it is possible that he walks with his head down; it is not all that uncommon.

Finally we get to the mess in the foreground. Leaning back against a pole never serves us well. His body from the shoulders to the feet seems to be in a straight line leaning backwards. But his head veers powerfully forward away from the rest of his body.

We would like our heads to sit on top of our shoulders– ears directly in line with the middle of the arm bones. While this is easier said than done it is important that you become aware of where your head is in space to begin with.  Have someone take a picture of your standing posture from the side to see where your head is at.

Do you have head forward posture? Self awareness is the start of changing your posture. Is it time to get aware?


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  1. I just met with a friend who is a kinesiologist. He helped me see that this is a major problem for me. I am working on loosening up my thoracic spine area (like the pink lady) and staying conscious about my upright posture. I’d like to hear some thoughts (I haven’t searched the archives) about sleeping positions and exactly what to do upon waking.


    Dave H.

  2. Observing others out of alignment is a powerful tool to develop awareness of our own alignment. I use those basket cases as a reminder to do a quick self-inventory of my posture and movement. When I see someone with exemplary posture, I imagine what their bodies must feel like and strive to have mine feel the same way.

    I am fond of the term “geometrical homeostasis”, which seems to have been coined by the UNC biologist AK Harris in an article “Multicellular mechanics in the creation of anatomical structures.” Harris was talking about the mechanical forces to get cells organized in the developing embryo, but I think it has broad applicability to our posture. The point is that “aligned” only exists in the context of all sorts of oscillations that are constantly happening.

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