The Basics of Posture
Simple fixes to improve posture
Posture has a large influence on one’s body comfort and strength, but many struggle with poor posture. Simple fixes made on an individual basis can improve one’s posture and decrease pain and discomfort.
What is posture?
Posture is the position our bodies are held while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture consists of the correct alignment of our body, supported by the right amount of muscle tension. Normally we don’t knowingly maintain normal posture. Certain muscle groups do it for us, like the hamstrings and large back muscles. When these muscles work together, they prevent the force of gravity from pushing us over.
Benefits of Good Posture
Most back pain can trace back to an individual’s poor posture. One’s back pain can be reduced significantly with simple changes in posture.
Good posture keeps bones and joints in their proper alignment. This alignment allows correct usage of muscles and decreases abnormal wearing of joint surfaces. This abnormal wearing of joints can lead to degenerative arthritis or joint pain.
Correct posture prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
The stress on ligaments holding spinal joints together can be reduced by proper posture, decreasing the likelihood of injury.
Good posture allows muscles to be used more efficiently. This reduces your energy usage, therefore preventing muscle fatigue.
Good posture helps fight against muscle and back pain, disorders, and strain.
On the cosmetic side, improved posture contributes to an overall better appearance.
How to Achieve Good Posture
Proper posture requires adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion and efficient muscles on both sides of the spine.
Improving your posture will take time and practice. Long-term postural problems may need help from your chiropractor.
For correct posture. with a straight back and your shoulders relaxed and back. Make sure you’re sitting against the back of the chair, as much as possible. If necessary, use a lumbar roll or small rolled-up towel to help maintain the proper shape in your back. Distribute your weight on both hips evenly. Keep your knees at a right angle, with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your knees even with your hips or slightly higher if possible. This may require a small stool or other additional support. Don’t cross your legs and avoid sitting in the same position for more than thirty minutes. Avoid sitting in the same position for more than thirty minutes.
The workplace is one of the best places to be mindful of your posture. At work, adjust your chair and desk so you can sit close to your work. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk. Keep your shoulders relaxed. If you’re in a rolling chair, avoid the temptation to swivel your hips in the chair. Instead, turn your entire body when needed.
Do your best to keep your head above your shoulders. Avoid leaning your head forward, backward, or to the side. Increasingly, people are leaning their heads forward to look at screens. Adjust screens to avoid this strain and limit your screen time daily.
The same sitting technique applies when driving.
To stand in proper posture, keep your weight primarily on the balls of your feet. Keep knees slightly bent and avoid locking your knees straight. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Let arms hang naturally. Relax your shoulders. Stand straight and tall. Tuck your stomach in and avoid arching your back.
If you need to stand for a long time, shift your weight from your toes to heels or one foot to another. Keep these switches as even as possible.
Sleeping or Lying Down
Proper sleep structure may take some small steps to transition into a proper sleeping position. Do what’s best for your comfort when keeping in mind this advice.
Avoid sleeping on your stomach, or on the side with your knees pulled to your chest. This can cause pain and discomfort to your back and neck.
If you sleep on the side, sleep with a pillow between your knees. If you sleep on your back, sleep with a pillow underneath your knees.
Your mattress is just as important for your posture as the position you’re lying in. Your mattress should be firm and the box spring set should not sag. This may take some adjusting, depending on the bed you’re used to, but try to make a comfortable transition. Sleep with a pillow.