We often ignore the way we stand, sit and sleep. We sit erect and walk actively at the beginning of the day. But, after a tiresome day our shoulders may droop and we slouch. However, it is important to make conscious efforts to stand, sit and sleep in the correct posture. Proper posture will help you to work more efficiently without getting tired or giving strain to your back or body.
Risk factors that cause stooped posture
For a healthy spine and correct posture, it is important to keep changing your position at regular intervals. There are various factors that cause stooped posture eventually putting strain on spine and back, and causing back pain, especially lower back pain, knee and joint problems in the long run.
- Sitting in one position for long hours
- Spending a large chunk of your day sitting in front of the computer
- Driving for more than four hours in a day
- Working in a bent position for more than two hours a day
- Taking lot of stress at work and lack of rest
1. Sitting posture
If there’s anything that spoils your correct posture and makes you slouch, it is the sitting posture, when you are driving, watching a film or working at a computer desk. It affects your posture and spine, and causes back-related problems in the long run. Follow the steps mentioned below for a correct sitting posture.
Tips on correct sitting posture:
- When you are standing place the thumbs of your hand on your hips and your forefingers on the pubic bone. Tilt your pelvic to get both the bones in level.
- When you sit down, try to maintain the same position. The correct posture is when you keep a small curve at the base of the spine.
- Place your feet flat, firmly on the floor and keep your shoulders wide apart. Your hips and knees should be bent at 90 degrees.
- Roll your shoulder back and down, moving the shoulder blades down your back.
- Your ears, shoulders and hips should be in a straight line, and your back should make an S-shaped spinal curve.
When working on a computer
- Make sure that your feet are placed flat on the floor and your head in a neutral position. The computer screen should be 15 degrees below the eye level.
- Your forearms should be placed at about 90 degrees on the table or on the wrist rest.
- Avoid working for long hours. However, if you have to, try to take a break every 30 minutes. Stand, walk a little and stretch your hands to avoid sore back.
- Make sure you are sitting on a chair which suits the shape of your spine.
2. Standing posture
During the day, when we are not sitting, we are either standing or walking. Hence, it is very important to pay equal attention to this posture as well.
Tips on correct standing posture
- You should stand in a way that an imaginary straight line should connect your ears, shoulder, hips and ankles.
- If you think that your posture is not right, begin with raising your chin. Then erect your spine and pull your shoulders backward. If you slouch, your belly may bulge out. So, try to tuck your tummy in.
- Stand with your knees straight, and try to keep your weight off your heels. If you have to stand for longer period of time, keep shifting your body weight from one leg to another. This will help you to avoid putting stress on both the legs.
3. Sleeping posture
We are most relaxed when we are sleeping. Moreover, we are not conscious about our posture while sleeping. Hence, there are chances that we may end up sleeping in a wrong way and waking up with a sore back.
Tips on correct sleeping posture
- Try to sleep straight and keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Every individual has a different body shape and structure. Identify your own, and select the right kind of mattress for a relaxed sleep. A very hard and a very soft mattress may give rise to back pain or aggravate your trouble if you already have a back pain.
Correct posture while lifting heavy objects
Although our spine is quite strong and flexible, it may get damaged when we exert pressure on it in a wrong way. This is true especially when we lift heavy objects. There are few technique to lift such object to prevent any damage to your spine.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects frequently. Lift it only if it is too urgent and important.
- Analyse the weight, and make sure if you can lift it alone. If it is too heavy, wait for someone to help you.
- Keep your feet and hips wide apart. The feet should not be parallel, one foot forward and another at the back.
- Get a good grip on your load by bending your knees.
- Keep you spine straight. Lift the weight from your legs and not from your back.
- Look straight and walk. Avoid turning back, leaning or bending when you are holding the object in your hand.
- While keeping down the object, keep you back in a neutral position, bend your knees and slowly put the object on a flat surface.
The above tips will not only improve your posture, but save you from back, knee and joint problems in the long run.