Essentially, proper posture is very important to achieve good health. Poor posture is a result of bad habits over years and is evident in adults and children. Despite this, only a few people have a real grasp of the importance and necessity of good posture.
What is Posture?
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.
Why is Good Posture Important?
Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit and lie down in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities.
- Keeps bones and joints in correct alignment and prevents wear-and-tear
- Reduces stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury
- Allows muscles to work more efficiently
- Helps prevent muscle strain and back pain
Causes of Poor Posture
Several factors contribute to poor posture, including:
- Weak postural muscles
- Abnormally tight muscles
- High-heeled shoes
In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor work environment, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor posture.
Can I Correct My Posture?
Yes, you can correct poor posture, but it will not happen overnight. With much practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting and lying down will gradually replace bad posture habits.
Follow These Tips to Correct Poor Posture:
How to Sit Correctly
- Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest if they don’t reach the floor
- Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees
- Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat
- Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips
- Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your lower back
- Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground
- Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time
How to Stand Correctly
- Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet
- Keep your knees slightly bent
- Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart
- Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward
- Tuck your abdominal muscles in
- Keep your head level – your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward or to the side
- If you have to stand for a long period of time, shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or from one foot to the other
How to Sleep Correctly
- Find the mattress that is right for you. While a firm mattress is generally recommended, some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain
- Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach
- If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees
Goodyear Chiropractic Health Center can also assist you with proper posture! In fact, our team of chiropractic specialists can recommend exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles and use manipulation techniques to realign your spine. To schedule a consultation today, click here!