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.
- 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.
- 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.