Maintaining proper posture has become an increasingly popular subject in recent years. According to the American Chiropractic Association, posture is “the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.” Our bodies were made for movement and activity. We don’t live in a perfect world where that’s always possible, though. What we can control is our posture while we go about our day to day lives.
Proper Standing Posture
It can be useful to stand in front of a full-body mirror, or to have some photos taken of the way you normally stand. Then try standing with your feet directly under your hips and pointing forward. Hold your stomach in slightly and bring your hips forward to ensure you’re not over-arching your back. Pull your shoulders back and down away from your ears, and keep your chin parallel to the ground and your eyes looking directly in front of you. Practice this posture, and learn what it feels like. Just a couple of minutes a day can keep you more aware of your posture, and help you correct it every time it comes to mind. If this posture ever causes pain or discomfort, professionals such as those at the Hiler Chiropractic and Vax-D Decompression Center, can help.
Proper Sitting Posture
Sitting slumped over in many of our daily activities is a problem for a lot of us. As with standing properly, the more you can keep correcting yourself and keeping your posture in the back of your mind can make a huge difference. Try sitting in a chair with a straight back, keeping your feet flat on the floor in front of you and your knees at a ninety degree angle. While you’re working at your computer, or eating dinner, try keeping your shoulders against the back of the chair throughout your activity and your plate or computer closer to you so you don’t have to lean over in order to reach them. It may also be helpful to set a mirror up beside you so you can catch a glimpse of your reflection and straighten up.
Proper Lying Posture
Many people don’t consider their posture at all while lying down, but it can be just as important as your posture while standing or sitting. We spend a large portion of our lives sleeping, and we don’t want to be putting a strain on our spines while we do so. Try putting a pillow under your knees while lying on your back to take the arch out of your lower back. Put a pillow between your knees while lying on your side to keep your hips in alignment.
The American Chiropractic Association states that “normally, we do not consciously maintain normal posture. Instead, certain muscles do it for us, and we don’t even have to think about it. Several muscle groups, including the hamstrings and large back muscles, are critically important in maintaining good posture.” We know our posture is important to minimize our chances of injury and pain, as well as to keep these muscle groups strong as we age. If we become more aware of our posture, we can do better to make proper posture and alignment a great habit.