Improving Posture for a Healthy Spine
You can improve your body mechanics by improving posture. The way we move as we go about our daily routine is body mechanics. This includes how you hold your body while standing, sitting, and lifting and even sleeping. The spine suffers the most with bad body mechanics. When the spine is in a neutral position then that’s good posture. Most neck and back injuries are due to poor posture.
We all get some degeneration in our spine as we age. The goal of body mechanics is to prevent further damage/injury to the spine. Now is the time to correct any bad habits when it comes to body mechanics. When your parent was telling you to stand up straight, it was more than just looking good, it was for improving posture and protecting your spine.
Sitting with good posture:
- Shoulders and hips should face the same direction.
- Your back should be against the chair back.
- Don’t slouch (excessive relaxation of the body)
- Your feet on the floor shoulder length apart.
Standing with good posture:
- Don’t stand with knees locked.
- Shoulders should be relaxed,rolled back and feet shoulder width apart.
- Head should be aligned with spine and not tilted forward.
Sleeping with good posture:
- A firm mattress.
- To get spinal alignment, your pillow should allow your head to rest evenly with the rest of your body.
- While lying on your back, a pillow under your knees will also help to align the spine.
Lifting with good posture:
- Feet shoulder width apart
- Squat, bend your knees and keep your back straight.
- Turn your feet while lifting and don’t twist your body.
- The weight of the item should be kept as close to body as possible.
Some good yoga exercises are:
- Half-moon pose – improves balance and strength. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, hand over the head, fingers locked, bend over to the right then back to the middle and then to the left. Hold each position about 30 seconds.
- Sun salutation – Inhaling, stretch, your arms forward and over your head. Slowly bend backward from the waist.
Improving posture and good body mechanics go hand in hand.
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