14 Dec 2017 BY Katrina Tarrant POSTED IN Physiotherapy, Pilates, Women's Health 'Actively sit' and untuck your tailbone I recently read a great article by a little unknown movement coach in the US. She was speaking about the need for us humans to 'untuck our tails.' This resonated loudly with my role as a physio, posture and movement coach. She explored the many positive reasons we should sit better than we all do. Sitting with a great pelvic foundation not only improves posture, but also decreases the risk of poor pelvic floor muscle health, cell health and even biochemistry! You can read her article here, but here are a few of her wonderful points worth pondering as we go about our days sitting in such poor postures. It is very apparent that we are living in a world where tucking the tailbone under is highly encouraged. You only need to think of our furniture and the increasing time we spend sitting these days. You know the type- the comfy sofa that allows you to sink in low and promote a slump in the spine. This is the same as having the 'pelvic bowl tipped backwards', or the tailbone tucked under. We were never designed to be seated as much as we are in these modern times. The purpose of the tailbone is to allow the pelvic outlet in our pelvis to be open or closed. The coccyx in a human is the very small remnant of our predecessors and their mammalian tail. When this coccyx is untucked such as with correct posture or in standing, it lengthens and opens the bottom of our pelvis where the pelvic floor muscles live. When the coccyx is tucked, it shortens or closes this same outlet region. Here is the amazing and often overlooked impact of this on the pelvic floor strength and function. When the pelvic outlet is shortened, so too will be the pelvic floor sling of muscles that suspends from the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis to the tailbone.This shortened position of the pelvic floor, day in, day out from poor sitting postures will cause the muscles here to become short, tight and weak. Weak, you say? YES. A short and tight muscle cannot contract efficiently or optimally. This creates a weakness and possible pelvic floor dysfunction. This could include incontinence, prolapse, pain, or sexual pain. There is also the more subtle but significant knock-on effect to the workings of the 'core muscle system' for spinal and postural support and alignment. A shortened and tight pelvic floor loses its elastic trampoline like support for the pelvic organs. Simply standing and spending more time untucking your tailbone can allow for your pelvic floor to lengthen to relax and to not be so tense. To act as it is intended. Aging, menopause, pregnancy and childbirth are too readily blamed for pelvic floor dysfunction and the symptoms that come with that. They certainly do play a part, but the long term effect of poor posture on the pelvic region is not to be overlooked. The take home message Simple postural day to day changes can have a long lasting positive effect on pelvic health. Stand more. When there is a choice between sitting or standing, choose to stand. When sitting, choose a better chair. When in your sitting posture, sit on your sit bones and not your tailbone. Think of the level pelvic foundation position whenever you can. Believe that a tense muscle is NOT a strong muscle. Learn to let go of your pelvic floortension like you would let go of your tight shoulders and neck. Squat more rather than bending over. Move more. Vary your movements day to day so you are not always in the same patterns of movement and muscle activation.