Learn here the guidelines & tips about maintaining good posture while sitting, standing, sleeping, lying down, or lifting heavy objects.

Good posture is necessary to look your best and is essential for your long-term health. Conversely, poor posture is formed due to bad habits carried out over the years, leading to pain, injuries, and many other health problems.

Maintaining Good Posture

Only a very few people recognize the necessity & importance of good posture. To maintain good posture, you need to ensure that you hold your body correctly – whether sitting, standing, lying, or moving.

What Is Posture?

Posture is how we hold our bodies. Broadly, there are two types:

(i) Static posture is how we hold our bodies when we are not moving – when sitting, standing, or sleeping.

(ii) Dynamic posture is how we hold ourselves – when moving, such as walking, running, or bending over to pick up something.

Posture is how we hold our bodies. Broadly, there are two types:

(i) Static posture is how we hold our bodies when we are not moving – that is when sitting, standing, or sleeping.

(ii) Dynamic posture is how we hold ourselves – when are moving, such as walking, running, or bending over to pick up something.

How Posture Affects Your Health?

Poor posture is bad for your overall health. Bad posture:

(i) Misalign musculoskeletal (bones & muscles) structure/system

(ii) Wears off the spine, making it fragile and susceptible to injury

(iii) Leads to the neck, shoulder, and back pain.

(iv) Reduces flexibility

(v) Adversely impacts joint movements

(vi) Impairs balancing abilities and enhances the risk of falling

(vii) Makes it harder for you to digest food

(viii) It Makes it harder for you to breathe

Guidelines & Tips To Improve Your Posture In General

The key to good posture is the correct position of our spine.

(i) Be mindful of your posture during day-to-day activities, such as when watching TV, standing, washing dishes, or walking

(ii) Stay physically active. Exercises help maintain good posture. Especially the exercises that strengthen your core (muscles around your back, abdomen, and pelvis) are beneficial.

(iii) Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can weaken abdominal muscles, leading to problems for your spine & pelvis and resulting in lower back pain. All these can harm your posture.

(iv) Choose comfortable, low-heeled shoes. For example, high heels can shake off your balance and make you walk differently. This places greater stress on your muscles and hurts your posture.

(v) Ensure work surfaces are at the right height for you, whether you’re eating a meal or sitting in front of a computer.

Right Sitting Posture Guidelines & Tips

Follow these essential tips & guidelines to achieve good sitting posture – whether at work or home or in other situations:

(i) Take frequent breaks

(ii) Don’t sit in the same position for too long. Switch sitting positions often

(iii) Take brief walks around

(iv) Gently stretch your muscles every so often to relieve muscle tension

(v) Don’t cross your legs – with your ankles in front of your knees

(vi) Keep both feet flat on the floor or a footrest if they don’t reach the floor comfortably

(vii) Relax your shoulders & keep them straight; they should not be rounded/slouching or leaning forward or pulled backward

(viii) Keep your elbows close to your body, with your forearms about parallel to the ground.

Note: If you are sitting on an office chair at a desk, your arms should be flexed at about 75 to 90 degrees angle at the elbows. If this is not so, adjust the height of the office chair.

(ix) Maintain a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.

(x) Keep your back is fully supported against the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back. If your chair does not have a backrest, use a back pillow or other back support to support your lower back’s curve.

(xi) Be sure that your thighs and hips are supported. You should have a well-padded seat, and your thighs and hips should be about parallel to the floor.

Correct/Good Sitting Posture

[Related: Correct Sitting Position For Good Posture & Back Health]

Right Standing Posture Guidelines & Tips

(i) Stand straight and tall with shoulders upright & slightly pulled backward.

(ii) Keep feet slightly apart about shoulder-width apart.

(iii) Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.

(iv) Pull (tuck) your stomach in

(v) Stand with weight mostly on the balls of your feet.

(vi) Keep your head level – Avoid pushing your head forward, backward, or to the side.

(vii) If standing for a long time, shift weight from one foot to the other or rock from toes to heels. Also, slightly bend your knees very often to avoid putting stress on your knees continuously.

Note: To check whether your standing posture is good, stand against a wall with your bottom and shoulders touching the wall. In this position, the back of your head should also touch the wall – if it does not, the head is carried too far forward (anterior head carriage)

Correct/Good Standing Posture

Right Sleeping/Lying Posture Guidelines & Tips

(i) Generally a relatively firm mattress is recommended for proper back support, though individual preference varies.

(ii) Avoid sleeping on stomach. Sleeping on the back or side is by and large more helpful for the back pain than sleeping on the stomach.

(iii) Use a pillow to provide proper alignment & support for your head and shoulders. Special pillows are also available to help with your specific postural issues arising from poor sleeping position.

(iv) When sleeping on your side, keep a relatively flat pillow between your legs to maintain your spine aligned and straight. And when you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to better support your spine.Correct/Good Sleeping Posture

Guidelines & Tips For The Correct Posture While Lifting and Carrying Weight

(i) Remember to always bend at the knees and not the waist

(ii) Use your leg and stomach muscles while lifting, and always avoid using your lower back

(iii) If necessary, wear a supportive belt to help keep the right posture when lifting

(iv) While carrying a heavy or large object, keep it close to your chest

(v) When you are carrying something with one arm, remember to switch arms frequently

(vi) When carrying a backpack, keep it as light as possible, and make sure to balance the weight on both sides as much as possible, or switch from side to side

(vii) If you are carrying a backpack, don’t lean forward or round your shoulders. If you feel the weight is too much, preferably use a bag/rolling backpack with wheels.

[Related: Good Sitting Posture Guidelines & Tips – Healthy Back/Spine]

Take Away

You can correct your posture for standing, sitting, and sleeping with much practice. Over time the new good posture will gradually replace your old posture. You might feel a little uncomfortable, and it might seem a little unnatural to you at first. But over time, you will feel that the new, correct posture is more comfortable & also look natural to you, and of course, it will be good for your overall health.

About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Fitness Buffhq - Renu bakshiPersonal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”

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