If you are looking for ways to improve your posture, my guess is that you already have some sort of spinal problem like lower back pain. If you really want to keep your back and spine in a good shape, improve posture is the only way to go. As a matter of fact, good posture habits are vital to relieving back pain. Back support is also very essential for patients who spend hours sitting in a chair doing office work.
Poor Posture Is The Underlying Evil
If you don’t practice proper posture, it will put excessive stress on the spine. As time goes by, the stress may have a bad impact on the spine’s anatomical characteristics, leading to constricted nerves and blood vessels. In addition, it may cause problems with joints, discs and muscles. As a consequence, you lower back might suffer from pain and fatigue. You might also have headaches or some other health issues as well. I bet you get what we want to say here – poor posture leads to serious problems.
What is a Good Posture?
Good posture will keep each part of your body aligned with the surrounding parts. In other words, proper posture will support all parts of your body and keep them balanced. As a result, you will have a beautiful figure, which will make a good first impression.
Since you continue to change positions throughout the day, you should learn to keep correct posture for back support whether you are sitting, standing or lying down. This is so important should you want to keep lower back pain at arm’s length. Try to adjust your posture smoothly when you move from one position to another. If you practice the right posture habits for a couple of days, these movements will become part of your second nature, and you won’t have to make any effort to maintain proper posture.
Office work, for the most part, causes you to develop poor posture habits, putting excessive strain on your lower back. Actually, some people have poorly fitted chairs in their offices. These chairs don’t provide adequate support to the back. The solution is to go for ergonomic officer chairs that provide better support to your back than regular chairs. Moreover, ergonomic chairs are more comfortable.
Taking Breaks Is Very Important
Your spine tends to move throughout the day, and if you keep seated for long hours, the muscles in the back is going to get stiff, losing the mobility of your spine, tensing up muscles and causing lower back pain. So, it is important to get up and move around every hour to loosen up the stiff muscles in your back. It’s okay if it’s even for a few minutes.
Is My Posture Correct?
You need to examine your posture before you take steps to correct it. In other words, you have to find out what needs to be improved. Examine your posture as you sit in the chair, carry objects and stand in line. You should make a mental note of your posture habits throughout the day. Another good way is to ask your family member or colleague to keep an eye on you while you are sitting, standing or lying down. He or she will let you know whether or not you follow correct posture during these moments.
Poor Posture and Lack of Back Support
Given below are simple examples of poor posture and lack of back support that result in back pain. You need to change these posture habits.
- Sleeping on a mattress that doesn’t provide adequate back support
- Keep the head too much elevated when sleeping
- Wearing high heels or excessively tight outfits
- Carding a telephone receiver amidst the shoulder and neck
- Carrying heavy stuff on just one side of the body
- Slouching with your shoulder hunched forward
Bad Sitting Habits
Given below are some examples of bad posture habits when sitting in a chair for hours.
- Leaning forward while sitting in the chair
- Slumping forward when you are sitting in the chair
- Not using the lumbar back support of the chair
Keep your Back Straight!
As discussed earlier, if you want to correct you bad posture, you have to first figure out where the improvements are needed. Your next move is to work on changing your routine habits for correcting bad posture. Doing so will improve your back support and cut down on lower back pain with the passage of time. All you have to is be determined and make effort. At first, this may sound you a bit unnatural and comfortable, but as time goes by, you will find it natural to follow correct posture.
Read the following guidelines on how to follow good posture in home and office.
Sitting Posture In The Office
While sitting in the chair, make sure your back is in alignment with the office chair back. Don’t slouch or lean forward, especially when you are tired from sitting for hours.
- If you have to sit for hours non-stop, make sure you choose a ergonomically designed chair for better support for your back.
- When sitting in the chiar, you arms has to be flexed at a 90 degree angle. If you cannot do keep your arms at that angle, make adjustment to the chair.
- Your knees have to at the same level as the hips, or they can be a little bit elevated.
- Keep both of your feet flat on the office floor. For added comfort, It is also a good idea to use a footrest with the chair.
- Your shoulders should be straight when sitting in the chair.
- Don’t hold the same position for over 30 minutes, even if you are sitting in an ergonomic chair with good back support. Instead, leave the chair after every 30 minutes and move around for a while.
See Also: Proper Sitting Posture In The Office
- While standing, you should try to put most of your body weight on the balls of the feet, rather than heels.
- There should be a little distance between both your feet while standing
- Let your arms hang naturally
- Don’t lock your knees
- Tuck your knees a bit for keeping your head at a certain level
- You head shouldn’t be pushed out forward
- While standing, your shoulders should be upright
- If you have to stand up for hours, keep shifting weight from one foot to another
- Stand up against a wall with the back of the head, shoulders and bottom touching the wall.
- Keep your gaze right ahead and the head up
- Don’t push your head forward
- Your shoulders should be aligned with your body
- For better back support, sit with your back against the seat of the car.
- There should be a proper distance between the steering and the pedals
- The middle area of your head should be supported by the headrest. This will keep your head from getting tired.
Posture While lifting and Carrying Heavy Objects
- When lifting objects, don’t bend your waist. Instead, bend your knees.
- Take support from the muscles of your leg and stomach to lift things up.
- For maintaining right posture when lifting things up, you can use a supportive belt as well.
- While carrying something heavy, keep it close to your chest.
- If you are carrying something in your hand, switch hands frequently
- When carrying a purse of backpack, don’t’ overfill it with unnecessary objects, and balance the weight of the purse of both of shoulders. Use a rolling backpack if you have a lot of stuff to carry.
What About Sleeping?
- Choose a firm mattress for better back support
- Make it a habit to sleep on your back or side, rather than on your stomach
- For head and shoulders support, you had better keep a pillow below your head while sleeping
- Roll up a towel, place it under your neck, and get a pillow to place under your knees for providing support with your spine.
- If you are sleeping on the side, you should get a flat pillow and place it between your legs. It will keep your spine straight and aligned.
If your muscles are tense without any reasons, you are more likely to have bad posture. Tense muscles will lead to misalignment of different parts of the body. In order to relax your tense muscles, you can do a number of exercises. For instance, you can do meditation to relax the muscles in the back of your neck. Aside from these, you can try other treatments, such as yoga, massage therapy, osteopathic manipulation, Tai-Chi and so on.