Correct posture is a simple but very important way to keep the intricate structures in the back and spine healthy. Good posture and back support are critical to reducing the incidence and severity of back and neck pain.
The first step in correcting your posture is to examine it throughout the day to identify what needs improvement. Next, work on changing daily habits to correct those areas. Your effort will improve back support and gradually help decrease back pain. It will take some effort and perseverance, but over time the new posture will seem natural and more comfortable. Following are some guidelines for how to achieve good posture:
Sitting Posture for Office Chairs: • Be sure your back is aligned against the back of the office chair. Avoid slouching or leaning forward, especially when tired from sitting for long periods. • When sitting at a desk, your arms should be flexed at a 75- to 90-degree angle at the elbows. • Your knees should be even with your hips, or slightly higher. • Keep both of your feet flat on the floor .
Driving Posture: • Sit with your back firmly against the seat. • Your seat should be a proper distance from the pedals and steering wheel to avoid leaning forward or reaching. • Your headrest should support the middle of your head to keep it upright. Tilt the headrest forward if possible to make sure that the head-to headrest distance is not more than four inches. Posture and Ergonomics
While Lifting and Carrying: • Always bend at your knees, not your waist. • Use the large leg and stomach muscles for lifting, not your lower back. • When carrying a heavy or large object, keep it close to your chest. • When carrying a backpack or purse, keep it as light as possible and balance the weight on both sides as much as possible, or alternate from side to side.
Standing and Walking Posture: • Stand with your weight mostly on the balls of the feet, not on your heels. • Keep your feet about shoulder width apart and avoid locking your knees. • Stand straight and tall with shoulders upright—not slouched or hunched forward—and let your arms hang naturally down the sides of your body. • Be sure your head is square on top of your spine, not pushed out forward. • If standing for a long period of time, shift your weight from one foot to the other or rock from heels to toes. • When walking, keep your head up and eyes looking straight ahead.