ROLE OF MUSCLES: WHEN MUSCLES ARE INACTIVE
As you go to sleep in a chair, the neck is the first to give in and your head flops over, at first jerking up in starts but, as sleep deepens, the back also loses power. Even with the best of intentions, a person in deep sleep cannot stay erect. The neck muscles become so flaccid that they cannot even keep the head in the central balanced position when reclined. That is why some airlines' executive class seats have flexible 'wings' on either side of the head so that it does not loll to one side or the other causing neck tension and muscle spasm.
A sleeping child seems extra heavy to carry and every parent who has ever transferred a child from a car or sofa knows the difference in lift. The same child when awake apparently weighs much less, because its muscles are alive and active. Doctors and nurses transferring paralysed, comatose and dead patients from the bed to the trolley know very well how heavy the person feels. The term 'deadweight' is derived from this phenomenon.
Patients who have been bedridden for a long time find it extremely difficult to walk as their muscles are unfit, though the bones haven't changed, and the body feels heavier in the first couple of days. As the muscle tone builds up the movement becomes easier.
So it is clear that muscles, rather than bones, control our posture.
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