When in a standing position, muscles are not activated to maintain proper posture especially if standing straight.
According to Kendall and McCreary* there are certain points on our bodies that are key to determine if we have ideal posture. From the side position, as shown in Figure A, a line drawn from the head to the toes (also known as a plumb line) will pass the following target points:
- midway through the shoulder joint
- midway through the trunk
- through the greater trochanter (see figure C below)
- slightly in front of the lateral malleolus (see figure D below)
If we look at an individual from the rear aspect as in Figure B, the plumbline should fall directly in the middle of the body, and we should see the shoulder and the pelvis align on the right and left. The head should be in a neutral position, the hips should be aligned and the feet should be turned outward slightly.
*Kendall FP, McCreary EK. Muscles: Testing and Function.. 3rd ed. Baltimore, Md: Williams and Wilkins; 1983