Rarely do we hear about children complaining of a back pain or a joint pain. This is because their bodies are active and bad habits like slouching or hunching are immediately corrected by their parents or elders.
However, as we become adults and settle in our busy lives, little attention is paid to the way we sit, stand, or even rest.
Although meeting deadlines at work is important, it is equally important to pay attention to the way we sit, stand, or even take rest while we are at work or at home.
Poor posture can cause short and long-term complications to our health if it is not corrected on time. Some of these complications include back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, and rounded shoulders.1
Some studies also report that sitting postures can have an effect on the lung capacity.2 Therefore, sitting inappropriately for long hours can affect our body.
But, if we consciously make an effort to change it now, it may help reduce our risk of developing health conditions in the future. So, let’s take a look at how to sit and stand correctly and apply that in our workplace and homes to maintain good posture.
Tips To Maintain Good Posture While Sitting
Most jobs today cause us to lead a sedentary lifestyle. A lot of us end up sitting for more than 8 hours every day at work. Here are some tips to keep in mind while sitting at the desk at work.3
- Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor.
- Avoid crossing your legs; make sure your ankles are in front of the knees.
- Maintain a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- Keep your knees at or below the level of your hips.
- Support your low- and mid-back by adjusting the backrest of your chair or use a back support.
- Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
Sitting correctly only gets half the problem fixed. As most jobs use computers or laptops, it is important to be mindful of how the keyboard, mouse, and other objects are used as well.4
- Keep the screen at eye level: Keep the monitor of the computer approximately at your eye level. Place the monitor about an arm’s distance away from you.
- Place the keyboard in front of you: It is important to keep the keyboard in front of you while typing, leaving a gap of about 4–6 inches at the front of the desk.
- Keep the mouse close: Place the mouse close to you. A mouse mat may help to keep the wrist straight and avoid any strain.
- Avoid screen reflection: Glare from your computer’s screen can cause strain to the eyes. Adjust the screen to avoid reflection from the lights or sunlight.
- Make sure objects are easily accessible: It is important to keep objects that you use often close to you. These may include your phone, stationery like a stapler, pen, etc.
- Avoid phone strain: If the nature of your job requires you to use your cell phones a lot, then you can reduce neck strain by using headsets or earphones.
- Take frequent breaks: It is important to avoid sitting in the same position for too long. Taking short breaks frequently can help solve this problem. Breaks can help relax the muscles.
Like sitting, even standing correctly is important to maintain a good posture. Taking meetings or narrating presentations can take time and may require you to stand for a long duration.
In fact, those who are involved in teaching jobs have to stand for hours together. Therefore, it is important to know how to stand correctly to avoid any negative effects on the body.
Tips To Maintain Good Posture While Standing
Keep the following tips in mind to maintain a healthy posture while standing.5
- Rest your body weight on the balls of your feet.
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Distance your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Allow your hands to relax or hang down naturally along the sides of your body.
- Stand straight with your shoulders pulled backward.
- Tuck your stomach in.
- Keep your head level, making sure your earlobes are in line with the shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.
- Shift your weight from one foot to the other if you have to stand for a long time.
So, make an effort to sit and stand correctly a few times and it will probably come naturally to you to do it the right way.
After a long day’s work, you probably want to just crash in your bed. However, if sitting and standing have a “right” way, lying down does, too. Therefore, when decide to rest your body, remember to keep the following in mind when you lie down.
Tips To Maintain Good Posture While Lying Down
If you are taking care of your body posture while sitting and standing, then you should follow the same while resting or lying down in bed. Keep the following in mind to avoid bad posture when you are at rest.6
- Make sure your mattress is comfortable. It is recommended to use a firm mattress; however, some may find it comfortable to use a soft one instead.
- Sleep with a pillow. If you have back pain, there are specially designed pillows to help treat it.
- Avoid sleeping on the stomach.
- If you have back pain, it is advised to sleep on your back or on your side. If you find sleeping on your side more comfortable, place a pillow between your knees. If you lie down on your back, place the pillow under your knees.
So, not only will you be projecting confidence at work with a good posture, you will also be saving your body some trouble in the long run.
However, if you experience pain in any part of your body, get it checked immediately to know its cause. If the pain is caused due to improper body alignment, then consult a physiotherapist or chiropractor to receive the proper treatment.
|↑1||Posture. BetterHealth Channel.|
|↑2||Lin, Fang, Sriranjani Parthasarathy, Susan J. Taylor, Deborah Pucci, Ronald W. Hendrix, and Mohsen Makhsous. “Effect of different sitting postures on lung capacity, expiratory flow, and lumbar lordosis.” Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation 87, no. 4 (2006): 504-509.|
|↑3, ↑5, ↑6||Tips to Maintain Good Posture. American Chiropractic Association.|
|↑4||How to sit correctly. National Health Services (NHS) Choices.|