We have all heard it a thousand times… “Stand up tall, don’t slouch”. Our parents have been preaching it to us all of our lives. Although it is tough to acknowledge… that was good advice! Because our bodies are very efficient; they are constantly adapting to the stresses and demands placed upon them. This means that our bodies will slowly (over time) conform to the postures that they are placed in, and it is safe to say that our lives and all that activities that we fill it with take place in front of us.
From our work to our recreation we are bending and leaning forward and with time, if we are not careful, our spines/postures become “forward bent” and fused in that position. Poor posture, not only limits our function, but it adds increased stress/injuries to the upper back, neck and shoulders. This is can be validated by visiting a nursing home. Many of the residents will be found to have forward bent posture and at that age becomes accentuated by the use of walkers, canes and other assistive devices.
What is a good posture?
When standing or sitting your ear, shoulder and hip should be in a nice straight line allowing your back to maintain its natural curves. This can be remembered by the acronym “SHE”… shoulder, hip, ear… “SHE” is always right… . So when standing, sitting, working, lifting maintain that alignment.
Protecting your Posture with Proper Lifting Techniques
Lifting is something that is commonly associated with back injury. To avoid back injuries with lifting there are 4 principles that will help protect your back and posture.
- With feet shoulder width apart, bend knees while keeping your back straight
- Tighten abdominal muscles and lift upwards using your legs, not your back
- Hold the object close to your body
- Don’t twist or bend your body and face in the direction you are walking
- Keep your eyes up to help you maintain a better position of the spine.
- Use back support for your lower back
- Knees should be at the same level or higher than y our hips
- The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.
- Sit up tall and adjust your rearview mirror; this will help you to maintain your posture
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