At some point in our lives, we get back pains and this is something we cannot avoid. This may be caused by an accident, a sports injury, a congenital condition such as scoliosis, or it could be because of a sedentary lifestyle. Our back pains are usually caused by routine work and repetitive tasks. Imagine sitting at your office for 8 hours and sometimes, even more, just to finish your tasks for the day or if your work demands strenuous activities such as lifting and carrying heavy objects, this can result in muscle tightness and tension which then causes backache. One way to preventing back pain is to focus our attention on improving our posture.
What is Posture?
Most people don’t realize how important good posture is. According to the American Chiropractic Association, posture is the position in which you hold your body while standing, sitting, or even while lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.
Poor posture can lead to excessive strain on your posture especially if it is held in positions for long periods of time. Some of the factors that contribute to poor posture include stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, and the wearing of high-heeled shoes. Furthermore, your working environment and incorrect working posture may also contribute to poor body positioning, which leads to having a bad posture.
Why Do We Need Good Posture?
The key to good posture is the position of your spine. You might wonder why we need to have good posture. It is important to note that good posture helps us stand, sit, and lie in different positions. Aside from those, here are some of the reasons how good posture helps us:
- It keeps our bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used properly.
- Good posture allows our muscles to work more efficiently and effectively by allowing our body to use less energy. This helps prevent muscle fatigue.
- Good posture reduces the stress on the ligaments that hold our spinal joints together which lessens the probability of an injury.
- It helps prevent muscle strain, back pain, muscular pain, and overuse disorders.
How Can Posture Affect my Health?
We’ve already established how good posture helps us but we haven’t thought of how bad posture could affect our health. There are reasons why slouching or slumping over can negatively affect our health. Bad posture can:
- Misalign our musculoskeletal system
- Cause neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Decrease our flexibility
- Cause digestive problems
- Affect how our joints move
- Affect our balance
- Cause fatigue and sleep issues
- Lead to joint degeneration
How Can You Improve Your Posture?
In order to improve your posture, you need to be mindful of your own posture. Knowing what the right position is will help you consciously correct yourself. With enough practice, you will be able to perfect the correct posture for sitting, standing, and lying down. This will help you have a better posture, prevent back pain, and have a healthy body. To help you get started, here are some tips you can follow to improve your posture:
- Always keep your feet on the floor. If they don’t reach the floor, you may use a footrest.
- Avoid crossing your legs. As much as possible, your ankles should be in front of your knees.
- Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
- Once in a while, adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low and mid-back. You can also use a pillow for back support.
- Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time. Do some stretching if you have been sitting for a long time.
- If you have the time, take brief walks around the office or your home.
- Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
- You can keep your knees slightly bent and keep them shoulder-width apart.
- Hang your arms naturally down the sides of your body.
- Tuck your stomach in and stand straight with your shoulders pulled backward.
- Keep your head level. It should not be in a forward, backward, or side position.
- Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you need to stand for a long time.
By being aware of your posture and correcting it if it’s poor will help you prevent back pain.
Furthermore, it will be beneficial for your overall health. If you follow the tips we mentioned, you will have an improved posture and better health.
If you live in New Jersey, or anywhere near NJ, there is a pain management specialist who can help you manage your lower back pain and recommends exercises that will strengthen your postural muscles.Dr. Ronak Patel is an expert when it comes to pain management.
Schedule your appointment today! Call him at (609) 269-4451.