Give Your Spine a Break: The Importance of Proper Posture

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Most people try to take care of their bodies. For teeth, there is brushing. For hair, there is washing. You probably trim your fingernails and scrub your skin. The food we eat is for our digestive system, and the exercise we do gives our cardiovascular system a boost. With all of this, do you think twice about your spine?

Spinal Care

Your spine needs special care and attention as well. That is why you need to learn about posture. Posture refers to how we have positioned our bodies. Posture for sitting is different than for standing, but both require you to keep your body adequately aligned in order to reduce pressure on your spine. Bad posture can cause minor aches, and over time, it can even cause serious health complications.

Sitting Posture

Most people think that sitting is a way to relax. However, most people sit too much and sit in ways that do their bodies more harm than good.

When you sit, make sure your posture is ergonomically correct. Sitting causes many people to curve their spines in an exaggerated way, bending them out of alignment. Address this issue by keeping your back supported when you sit. This is especially important if you sit for long periods at a time. Use only chairs that have full support from the lower back to the shoulders.

It is also important to use a small footrest for your feet. Elevating your feet slightly can lift your knees higher, which shifts your center of gravity for improved posture. Sit with the chair pulled in so you are close to the working surface. You may also need to raise the surface of your desk to avoid craning your neck.

Even with good posture, you should still get up every now and then. Every hour you sit, make sure you spend a few minutes stretching to give your spine a break.

Standing Posture

Like sitting, standing can be tough on your spine unless you learn how to keep your body situated properly. The important thing to remember is that your pelvis should be tilted forward. If possible, keep your stomach tight. Your head should be lined up with your shoulders and pelvis.

Be careful to relax your shoulders. It can help to place your feet apart. You can even stand with one foot forward, which allows your knees to bend.

If keeping this posture is tricky, use a small box to step on with one foot. This small move can dramatically reduce the strain on your spine.

Other tips for good posture while standing are included below.

  • Change it up: Move around with some frequency. Any position will hurt if you hold it too long.
  • Soften the surface: The floor can impact your posture as well. Softer surfaces provide more relief for your spine. You can buy a rubber mat as well, which can provide a better surface no matter where you stand.
  • Keep it bent: If possible, try to bend your knees often. When your legs are straight, there is additional pressure on your joints and back. Plus, bending your knees keeps your circulation moving.

Better Posture, Better Health

Your spine works hard. Be sure to give it the support it needs with proper posture while sitting and standing.