The keys to a good posture
Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Poor posture may be the most common condition I see among my patients here. And the problem is that most people might even be unaware of their posture problems. It always tends to be overlooked until it becomes a cause for concern. And that is not good!
Proper posture is not just about appearance. It is required to help your body develop its strength and balance. But the question is- How can our posture be improved?
Being a bit more aware of your body, the muscles, and its positions throughout the day–can be a good start. Essentially, maintaining a good posture is about training your body to sit, stand, or do any activity without placing unnecessary stress on the muscles and ligaments. A few simple guidelines may help you achieve this. Below are some pointers you could keep in mind while going through the day-
Sitting/Working at a computer
Maintaining a seated position for extended periods is one of the biggest factors behind posture problems today. If your work requires you to sit in front of a computer for several hours–please keep these points in mind to maintain a healthy posture-
Always try keeping the monitor at arm’s length, and about 2 inches below or above your natural line of sight. Your chin should be pointing forward at 45-65 degrees.
Place a folded towel or cloth between your lower back and the chair. This maintains the natural curves of your back and helps support the lumbar spine.
Try pointing your sternum or chest bone up towards the ceiling. This could help reduce strain and tension on your neck.
Position your knees at the same height or slightly lower than the hips. Sitting with your legs crossed for several hours might not be great for your posture.
You could create a healthy workspace! Try out ergonomic chairs, footrests, or backrests.
And most importantly, get up once in a while and move around a bit. Try not to maintain a single position for an extended period.
The correct driving position
The vehicles we drive can certainly add to our posture problems. But the good news is that many of these problems can be avoided by proper adjustment of the seat and changing the way we sit. Here are some things you can ensure the next time you take a ride-
Try keeping your tailbone as close to the backrest as possible. Let there be no more than a three-finger gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat. You could also get a cushion or lumbar support to help with this.
Making sure the angle of your seat is perpendicular/90 degrees can help reduce the pressure on your back. Leaning back too much might force you to push your head forward–causing neck or shoulder pain. So, that is a no.
Make sure you get the seat height right. Ideally, the eye level must be at least three inches above the steering wheel.
And again, if you’re going for a long drive, make sure you take breaks. If you feel tired, step out of the car and stretch a bit.
The correct lifting position
If your day includes a gym routine or any form of heavy lifting, you need to have a good form. Lifting weights incorrectly or with a bad posture can cause backaches or other injuries. Below are some tips to help keep your body safe while lifting weights-
Firstly, it is important to know your limits. If you find the object to be “a bit too heavy”, do not overexert yourself trying to lift it. It could lead to some serious injuries or sprains.
When lifting an object that is lower than the waist level, keep your back straight and bend only at your hips and knees.
Before lifting a heavy object, stand close to it with a wide stance and make sure you have firm footing. Also, lift it slowly using your leg muscles. Please do not jerk it up suddenly.
When holding a heavy package, try not to lift it above waist level. It could cause sprains or throw you off balance.
While walking with a heavy object in hand, hold it close to the body with your arms bent. And do not be in a hurry! Be slow and steady. To place it down, keep your back straight and only bend your hips and knees.
The correct sleeping position
All the day’s hard work goes down the drain if we do not get to end it with a good night’s sleep. To help your muscles and ligaments relax and heal–sleeping with good posture is a must! Below are some points that could help you improve the quality of your sleep-
Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. It forces the neck to remain twisted to a side for hours–creating kinks in the spine and changing its structural integrity.
Do not sleep without a pillow! Especially when sleeping on your back, a pillow will support the natural curve of your neck and shoulders. You may also try placing a pillow under the back of your knees. This could help reduce stress on the spine and support the curves of the lower back.
Your choice of pillow and mattress is important too! Medium-firm pillows will allow the head and neck to maintain proper placement–reducing the risk of sprains. And similarly, medium-firm mattresses are great to support the spinal curves. Both in the case of pillows and mattresses, it is best to avoid ultra-soft or saggy ones.
Hopefully, these little guidelines have helped you understand what “good posture” is all about. And with just a bit of self-correction, you can achieve and maintain a good posture too!
Do you have any queries on this subject? Are you dealing with pain or other posture problems? Do not hesitate to reach out. At Lotus Chiropractic Care, Dr. Tanvi Desai will assess your condition and find the best treatment to ease your pain. We are here to make your days better!