A good posture helps balance your body weight appropriately, thus preventing muscle stress and strain. Here are some easy tips you can practice to achieve good posture.
Whatever your age, it is never too late to adopt good practices to correct posture. Good posture makes you look taller, breathe deeper and feel fitter. Whatever activity you’re doing, beware of your posture and consciously make the required changes to get into the right posture, every time!
Top ten tips to maintain good posture
- Be ergonomically smart: At the workplace, use an ergonomic chair, support your lower back with a small cushion and ensure that your legs reach the floor or the foot rest comfortably. Knees should be at level or slightly higher than the hips, and the elbows must rest on the armrest.
- Buy the right kind of sofa: Spend the maximum you can afford on a good sofa set when doing up the house. Buy sofas that support your back instead of the ones people sink into. Also, put a lot of cushions on them, which can be used to get comfortable and support the back.
- When working at the desk, don’t slouch or curve your back. Sitting up straight is important to keep muscles and ligaments in top form and prevent neck strain.
- A good posture while standing is to keep the feet apart at shoulder distance with the body weight resting more on the balls of the feet rather than the heels. Arms should hang by the sides and the knees should not be locked.
- If you’re standing for long periods of time, shift your body weight from one leg to another or rock to and fro from heels to toes at regular intervals. If possible, use a small stool to rest each foot on the stool for a while and change over.
- While walking, look straight ahead with the head in a comfortable position, not leaning forward and shoulders upright but not too far back.
- When it comes to getting a good night’s rest, your mattress and pillow play an important role. Choose a firm but not hard mattress that supports your body but doesn’t sink in. Use a soft or small pillow for neck support. Beware: Using more than one pillow can strain your neck muscles.
- A good sleeping posture to adopt is to sleep on the back or on your side. A cushion placed under the knees while sleeping on the back is recommended. If you’re sleeping on one side, place the cushion between your knees so that the knees do not touch. This helps balance the body’s weight, and prevents stress.
- While lifting heavy weights, hold it close to the chest. While bending, keep your back straight and bend from the knees, and not from the waist. When carrying a handbag on one shoulder, keep it light and sling it on alternate shoulders to avoid strain on one shoulder.
- While driving, keep your back firmly on the back-rest of your seat. Also, remember to adjust the seat so that your legs can comfortably reach the pedals. Ensure that the back of the head touches the middle of the headrest.
Written by Nisreen Nakhoda, General Physician
Photograph via sxc.hu
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