Which is the Posture Right for me?

Is your posture RIGHT?
We have always been told to sit upright, keep our shoulders back & much more…to have good posture.
Our bodies have been subjected to varied stresses- long hours of sitting, backpack, carrying weights (hand bags, laptops, briefcases) on single shoulders, varied work related postures are some of them.
It’s easy to say use good/correct postures when beginning an activity. How many of us pay attention to our postures once we are engrossed in said activities?
I am not going to tell you to this is the right posture & this is what you have to do. Each individual is unique & hence the right posture for them would be unique too.
The common doorway to good posture- Ergonomics
What is Ergonomics?
Simply put, ergonomics is fitting the job to the worker’s abilities.
Ergonomics can be applied to all our daily activities too along with our professional lives. How? Most activities- personal & professional- use the same postures- Standing, Sitting, Forward Bending & Lying (Sleeping).

The Golden Rule: Change your posture every 15-20 minutes.
Standing Ergonomics:

  • When standing, always maintain equal weight on both feet. Standing with uneven weight bearing places increased load on your spine & leads to low back pain & muscle imbalances.
  • If standing for long, have a small stool (1-1.5inches height) & keep one foot on the stool. This reduces load on the spine. Alternate feet on the step.

Sitting Ergonomics:

  • Most of our day is spent sitting- the curse of Sedentary Lifestyle.
  • Sitting obliterates the low back curve as the pelvis tilts posteriorly. Along with flattening of the low back, there is increased curvature in the upper back & the neck moves forward- Causes low back & neck stiffness & pain, reduced movement of spine & overall poor posture.

Forward Bending/ Lifting:

  • Bending forwards with knees straight places increased stress on the vertebral joints & intervertebral discs-can lead to Slip Disc.
  • If you are lifting (for example) 10 pounds:
  • Bending forwards with knees straight, the load taken by the spine is 10 times the weight being lifted; 10×10=100 pounds!!
  • When, bending with your knees bent, the load on the spine equals the weight being lifted i.e. 10 pounds. This is because the weight is being taken by the leg musculature, mainly the Quadriceps, hence reducing the load on the spine.
  • Remember to hold the weight being lifted close to your body.


  • If you sleep on your back, defer from using a pillow as it aggravates the forward head posture.
  • If you sleep on your side, use a pillow(s) to maintain the distance between the neck & shoulder. Do not keep your hand(s) under your head as this causes forward neck bending. Keep a pillow between your bent knees.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach as the neck is maintained in a rotated position & leads to muscle imbalances in the neck.
  • The mattress you sleep on plays an important role for having good posture & also for getting a good night’s rest. A firm mattress (coir) is the best choice (Goldilocks & the 3 bears).

Ergonomics for daily living is the easiest road to maintain the right posture while working & having fun. With these simple changes in your life, you can quit worrying about poor postures.


Electronic Ergonomics

The proliferation and use of PDAs & touchscreen smartphones, and the significant increase in time spent at computer keyboards or engaging in video gaming has created a whole new generation of people of all ages experiencing RSI(Repetitive Stress Injury). More and more, people are depending on these devices to stay in touch with friends and family. However, an increasing number are beginning to pay the price for such ready access to the world.

As mobile phone technology develops, mobiles are getting smaller, with buttons closer together. Small, fine movements tend to aggravate more than larger movements-this coupled with the smaller buttons can lead to injury as smaller buttons are harder to activate.

When you are text messaging, you tend to hold your shoulders and upper arms tense. This cuts down the circulation to the forearm, when in fact it needs a greater than normal blood flow to achieve the fine movements of the thumbs and fingers.

One of the commonest RSIs, popularly called “Blackberry Thumb” occurs because these devices rely almost solely on the use of your thumbs (not all of your fingers) for typing. Any device that relies on the thumbs for typing can cause this type of injury because the thumbs simply weren’t designed for such use. Additionally, there are also other stress injuries reported — wrist, forearm, shoulder, upper back and neck — as a result of constant texting.While it’s hard to use mobiles & tablets in the same way you’d use a computer, the risks of injury are the same:

  • Repeated motion
  • Unnatural postures
  • Bright screens, can all cause injury if you aren’t careful.
The problem with smartphones and tablets is that you can literally use them in a million different positions—most of which probably aren’t very good for your body.

Tips to Follow:
    You're Holding It Wrong: Here's How to Hold Your Touch Screen Gadgets Correctly

  • Holding your mobile/tablet flat is bad for your neck, but holding it completely perpendicular is bad for your wrists. As such, you’ll want to compromise by holding it at a 30 degree angle when you’re typing or using the touch screen. If you’re just reading, you can position it more perpendicular, at whatever angle makes it easy to see.
  • Tap lightly on the keyboard. Many people have a tendency to tap very hard on touch screen keyboards because they lack tactile feedback, like real physical keyboards do, and this is bad for your fingers, wrists, and forearms. If you’re typing something longer than just a few sentences at a time, it’s probably worth investing in a Bluetooth keyboard.
  • As you type or use the touch screen, be sure to keep your wrists straight, while keeping your arms and fingers loose and relaxed.
  • Avoid eye strain by making the font larger when possible. If you’re using a program that doesn’t allow you to set the font size, you can buy glasses specifically made for reading tablet displays. If you’re doing a lot of reading, try eye-friendly E-Ink readers like the Kindle or Nook as opposed to the iPad or Kindle Fire.

Its best to…

  • If texting starts to hurt. Stop. Use the other hand or call instead
  • Vary the hand you use
  • Vary the fingers you use
  • Don’t text for more than a few minutes without a break
  • The best option when it comes to touchscreen phones is to use a Stylus while using the phone, as it uses larger muscle groups compared to using only a finger. Hold the stylus like you would hold a pen.

The biggest sufferers are college students and young adults. Plus, there’s not enough attention paid to ergonomics. RSI is preventable. It happens because it’s not taken seriously.

And an increase in miniaturization, and decreased usability–rates of aching thumbs among today’s people is likely…to swell.
If you’ve found any tricks that work especially well for you, share them in the comments below.

Backpack Safety

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”

Posture in which the natural curves of the spine are maintained is considered good posture. Every single movement, from sitting at our desks, driving a vehicle, standing for long hours to even how we sleep-affects our back.

There is a widely held belief that repeated carrying of backpacks places additional stress on rapidly growing structures in children making them more prone to postural changes.

The highest rate of growth for school children occurs during puberty, 10-12yrs for girls & 13-15yrs for boys. External forces such as backpacks, influences growth & maintenance of body alignment, making adolescents more susceptible to injury compared to adults.

Before we discuss Ergonomics to carry backpacks, it’s important to understand how bad posture is produced due to backpacks. When a backpack is worn, the spine bends forwards, causing the entire body slant forwards, increasing the chances of falling. Now to prevent falling, the back muscles overwork & fatigue. Fatigue further pronounces this bad posture, increasing the chances of injury.

What kind of backpack is the right one?
  • When you go shopping for a backpack, carry along all the articles you plan to carry in the backpack. Select an appropriate sized backpack (not larger than your torso) as it can lead to a more & uneven load.
  • Select a light-weight, multi-compartmentalized backpack.
  • It should have adjustable wide padded contoured straps along with chest & waist straps to place the backpack closer to your spine & engage larger muscle groups to take the load.
  • This avoids overworking & fatigue.
  • The back of the backpack should be well padded & contoured to fit against the alignment of your spine.
  • Low back curve in the backpack should fit snugly against your low back curve.
  • The inside compartment should have elastics compression straps to hold large items in place.

How do I wear a backpack?
  • Bend your knees while picking up the backpack to check its weight.
  • Put on one strap at a time.
  • Adjust the shoulder straps so that the backpack fits snugly against your spine. Use the Chest & Waist straps.

Always Remember…
  • Do not twist or swing the backpack while wearing it.
  • Do not wear only on one shoulder.
  • Do not bend your waist while wearing or lifting a heavy backpack.

The Ergonomics discussed in this article apply not only to children but also to adults.