Most of us have been warned at some point about the importance of good posture, but chances are that a lot of us haven’t really given this too much thought. Sure, no one wants to end up permanently stooped over, or to find ourselves suffering from chronic back pain, but what does good posture mean beyond appearance? What does it mean for our bodies?
Good posture goes beyond looks. It helps us to stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions with the least amount of strain on the muscles and ligaments activated during movement. It also keeps our bones and joints in alignment, and it helps to support the ligaments holding the spine together to reduce the likelihood of injury.
Poor posture, on the other hand, can lead to strain and cause our bodies to be out of alignment. Stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak muscles, tight muscles, bad working posture, and high-heeled shoes are all major contributors to poor posture. Luckily, over time many poor posture habits can be reversed by simply practicing good posture.
Follow these instructions to maintain the proper seated and standing positions.
Proper Sitting Position
Keep your feet flat on the floor or up on a footrest if they don't touch the ground
Do not cross your legs. our ankles should rest on the floor (or footrest) in front of your knees
Sit forward enough in your chair so that there is a small gap between the backs of your knees and your chair.
Your knees should not be positioned over your feet.
Relax your shoulders and hold your forearms parallel to the ground.
Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
Proper Standing Position
Maintain the bulk of your weight on the balls of your feet.
Keep your knees slightly bent. Don't lock them.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Let your arms hang naturally at your sides.
Tuck your stomach slightly in.
Keep your head level so that your earlobes are in line with your shoulders.
Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.