Perfect Posture for your Position
Proper posture isn’t just something your mom nagged about, it’s actually extremely vital to your overall spine health and prevention of lower back pain. How many hours a day do you spend standing or sitting down? Whether your driving, working, or running errands, chances are you’re not lying down during these activities. Since the human body spends so much of its time in these two positions, it’s important to utilize proper posture techniques in order to reduce the stress placed on your lower spine and prevent pain from occurring.
Poor posture and inadequate back support can cause more problems than just a slouchy disposition.
In fact, the stress of poor posture can change or degenerate the anatomical features of your spine, leading to issues with the blood vessels and nerves. Bad sitting and standing posture can also affect the muscles, discs and joints. This can all lead to back and neck pain, as well as headaches, fatigue, and more severe problems with the major organs and breathing. Basically, it is better to practice correct posture at all times, meaning keep each part of the spine in alignment with the neighboring parts.
Proper Posture When Standing Includes:
§ Chest out, head back: this means keeping your head directly over the shoulders
§ Keep the shoulders parallel to the ground
§ Tuck in the buttocks
§ Place the feet slightly apart, and be sure not to lock your knees
Proper Posture When Seated (Office Chair) Includes:
§ Adjusting the office chair, computer and desk positioning so that your workstation fits your needs best.
§ Sitting back in the office chair and utilizing the chair’s lumbar support to keep the head and neck erect versus leaning forward and hunching over.
§ Taking stretch breaks and walking breaks if sitting in an office chair for long periods of time.
§ Regardless of how long you actually spend in the car, your seated posture while driving can either contribute to or alleviate back discomfort. In this area, most of us have extensive commutes, and its often hard to gauge how much time we spend sitting in the car to work in our lifetimes. If a typical workday includes commuting, standing or sitting at work for several hours, and then driving home, then your back is placed under a heavy amount of stress and strain throughout the day. Start reducing some of your back pain before you even get to the office by changing your driving posture.
Proper Posture When Seated (Driving) Includes:
§ Sit with the knees level with the hips.
§ Feel free to use a rolled up towel or a commercial back support between the lower back and the back of the seat for more comfort and support of the natural inward curve of the low back.
§ Sit at a comfortable distance from the steering wheel. Sitting too far away can aggravate back pain, increase the pressure on the lumbar spine, and can stress the neck, shoulder and wrist, However, sitting too close can increase risk of injury from the car’s airbag.
Your body mechanics and posture are simple ways to improve your spine health and reduce or prevent back pain. By adapting your natural posture so that your back and spine is relieved of stress, you are actively caring for and treating your spine. If you’re really having trouble with your posture, seek out treatments and activities such as massage therapy, yoga, tai chi or other regular exercise routines to be useful with both muscle relaxation and posture awareness and improvement.