When it comes to perfect posture, the popular advice is to "stand up straight." But is that really an accurate way to describe good posture? In reality, posture is all about balance, alignment and curves.
Good standing posture is achieved when the chin is parallel to the floor, shoulders are even, the spine is neutral (no flexing or arching), hips and knees are even and body weight is distributed evenly on both feet. When sitting, the chin should be parallel to the floor, hips and knees at even heights and knees and feet pointing straight ahead.
Why is it important to focus on good posture? Good posture helps the body retain muscle flexibility and balance, both of which are key for prolonged mobility. Poor posture can, over time, make it difficult or painful to walk, get out of a chair, climb or descend stairs, carry things or twist and turn your body. What's more, there are numerous benefits to maintaining good posture, like easier breathing, healthier joints and better focus.
You can easily improve your posture while standing or walking by making a few quick adjustments and taking periodic checks in front of a mirror. However, if you're like many Americans, you likely spend the majority of your day sitting, whether at a desk, in front of the television or in a classroom.
It is possible to maintain proper posture while sitting. Simply remember to keep your ears, shoulders and hips in a straight vertical line. You can even use an ergonomic prop, like a lumbar pillow or a footrest, to keep your body aligned and properly curved.
Another option is to find an alternative to sitting in a chair at work, like a standing desk or a yoga ball. There are standing desks available for every budget, but no matter which one you choose, make sure it allows you to look straight ahead at your screen and keeps your keyboard at elbow height. Standing desks put less pressure on your back and make it easier to maintain good posture throughout the day. It also has other health benefits, including reduced risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more.
You can also swap out your office chair for a yoga ball, which helps keep your pelvis positioned properly and allows you to bounce, which is good for your spinal discs.
If a standing desk or yoga ball aren't an option in your workspace, check out these ways to stay active in the office. If you need more information on how you can maintain good posture, talk with a specialist at Goshen Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
Posted: 8/08/2016 by
Filed under: exercise, fitness, fitness and exercise