Good Posture To Minimize Your Chance of Injury

 In Ergonomics, Pain Management, Tips and Tricks

Posture – Tips for healthy posture

We’ve all done it – nagged a friend, family member, or loved one to sit up straight, shoulders back, chin up, etc. Truth is, most of us have probably been on the receiving end of the exact same comments too. Countless hours spent hunched over desks, watching TV, on our computers or tablets, and carrying around heavy loads like backpacks and bags can take a toll on our bodies and, above all, our posture.

Good posture is described as a position in which the least amount of unnecessary stress and strain is placed on our body’s joints. This is done by keeping our center of gravity aligned through the joints of our body that are specifically intended to carry our weight.

On the other hand, bad posture implies any deviations from this ideal body alignment, which can be observed by rounded shoulders, forward necks, and slouched backs. These kinds of deviations cause unnecessary stress on our muscles and other tissues such as our ligaments that aren’t designed to carry our weight. This excessive stress can then lead to sprains and strains as well as pain in the neck, back, hips, and shoulders. What’s more, poor posture can cause headaches, affect our circulation, increase our levels of fatigue, and can contribute to disc problems such as herniation over time.

Chronic Pain Syndrome

Bad posture can be the result of many factors such as weak muscles, stress, bad shoes, a lack of lumbar support when sitting, an unsupportive mattress, or bad workplace ergonomics, among many others!

Here are some quick tips and tricks for maintaining ideal posture in sitting, standing, and while sleeping!

Sitting

Do:

  • Keep your head straight and facing forward. If working at a computer, adjust your screen height accordingly
  • Keep your shoulders back
  • Make sure your feet are flat on the floor
  • Sit with your knees at the level of or slightly lower than your hips

Avoid:

  • Working without support under your arms or wrists
  • Tucking your feet under your chair
  • Rounding and slouching your back

 

 

Standing

Do:

  • Use your core muscles to stand straight
  • Breathe deeply from your diaphragm (belly breathing)
  • Keep your shoulders back
  • Keep a slight bend in your knees
  • Use good shoes that offer support to your feet

Avoid:

  • Standing in one position for too long
  • Wearing shoes with heels for prolonged periods of time
  • Sticking your chest out
  • Locking your knees back in extension

Sleeping

Do:

  • Find a position that’s comfortable for you
  • Maintain a straight back using small pillows to fill any gaps
  • If sleeping on your side, try putting a small pillow between your knees

Avoid:

  • Sleeping with too many or too few pillows under your neck. Your neck should be straight and in line with your body while resting on your pillow.
  • If possible, avoid sleeping on your stomach. This position can cause strain on the neck and lower back

Young woman sleeping on side

If you’re having aches and pain and think it might be related to your posture, call Bellefleur Physiotherapy at 613-424-7852 to schedule an assessment with one of our physiotherapists who will work with you to create a treatment plan addressing any areas of concern, including posture if necessary!

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