Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Right posture harmonises the mind and body. Good posture involves training the body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.
In a normal standing posture, the spine has a particular curvature, wherein the neck and lower back is bent backwards and the mid back and the tailbone are bent forwards.
If you stand or walk a lot, low-heeled shoes are necessary to maintain the proper curve at the small of your back.
- Choose the correct chair for your height.
- Sit in a chair with proper support for the lower back.
- Choose a chair with armrests. The armrests should not be too high or too low.
- Reading stands, computer monitor, workstations etc. should be at such a height that you do not have to bend in front or sideways to do your work.
- The bed should be firm with a good mattress.
- Use a single good pillow.
- It does not matter whether you lie on your back or your side while sleeping –that depends on your habit.
- Sometimes it is comfortable for the back to put a pillow under the knees while lying down.
- The driving seat should support your back properly.
- If there is a gap between your back and the seat, it should be filled with a small cushion or one can use a backrest
- Seated properly, your knees should be higher than your hips – this will relax the back while driving. Moving the seat backward or forward can ensure this.
- If necessary, a small cushion could be placed under the thigh.
- If your job demands long hours of driving on a regular basis, then it would be a good idea to break the journey after driving for half an hour or an hour, stretch a bit to relieve the stress and then resume driving.
- When getting out of the car, swivel your whole body towards the door rather than suddenly jerking out. Slide your feet onto the ground and then get out.
Bending forward to lift things off the floor is a bad idea. It does not matter whether the object is heavy or light, your back would be happier if you follow these principles of lifting:
- As you approach, relax your knees. Lowering movements should start at the knees and not at the head.
- After bending your knees, get close to the object to be lifted, almost sitting down on the floor.
- Get a good balance by keeping your feet apart. One foot should be a little ahead of the other foot.
- Now lift the object gradually, smoothly without jerking.
- Keep the object close to the body.
- The back should be straight, though not necessarily vertical.
- Gradually get up without twisting the back.
- If the load is too heavy, do not lift. Get help.
Use the same principle for carrying objects as you would for lifting. But also remember that if you have a load to carry, balance your body by:
- Carrying two small loads rather than one large one. Always carry two small shopping bags rather than one large heavy bag, so that you can divide the weight into two, and thus get your body balanced.
- If the load cannot be divided, hold it close to your body, gripping firmly with both hands.
Pulling or Pushing:
- When pulling or pushing any object, keep back straight, bend at hips and knees using your legs rather than arms or back muscles to move it.
- Pushing is easier on your back than pulling, so if you have a choice, push!
Wrong postures usually lead to permanent pains in various parts of the body. In case such problems arise or persist, visit Apollo Clinics Physiotherapy department to get an expert opinion.