What is Posture?
Posture is the position in which you hold your body while standing, sitting or lying down.
No matter Who you are or What your profession is, having a good posture is the key to a healthy and long life. Unfortunately, no one has perfect posture because of our current
lifestyles and technologies that has made way to us ignoring the way we treat our body,
and putting excessive strain on it.
It is a proven fact that poor posture contributes to back and neck pain. According to a
research in Journal of Clinical and diagnostic research, poor posture in adolescents has
a prevalence of 22-65% and is suggested to be responsible for back pain.
People who make a habit of using correct posture are less likely to experience related
back and neck pain. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie
so as to place the least strain on muscles and ligaments while you are moving or
performing weight-bearing activities.
Maintaining a good posture does have a lot of health benefits which includes:
- Keeping bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly.
- Decrease in the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
- Decrease in the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together.
- Prevention of spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
How Good Posture can help us to avoid Back and Neck pain?
Our spine has natural curves that form an S-shape. Viewed from the side, the cervical
and lumbar spines have a lordotic, or a slight inward curve, and the thoracic spine has a
kyphotic, or gentle outward curve. The spine's curves work like a coiled spring to absorb shock, maintain balance, and to facilitate the full range of motion throughout the spinal column. These curves can get damaged over years of sitting or standing with poor posture. Putting too much unnatural pressure on the spine can cause long term pain and discomfort due to imbalance.
Here are the few simple steps to improve the posture:
Sitting Posture: The optimal sitting position is achieved by keeping the spine in
what is known as a neutral position, whilst positioning the legs so your feet are flat
on the floor, with feet and knees roughly hip width apart, and maintaining correct
arm posture. When you do have to sit, make sure you have a good ergonomically
advised chair that supports your back. The best way is to sit at a 130-135-degree
angle as that puts less strain on your spine.
Proper sitting posture at desk: Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level.
Sit comfortably in front of your computer and your gaze should be directly in the top-
third of your computer screen. If you find you have to look down, you need to raise
your monitor up. Laptops most often require you to angle your head downward to see
the screen, so connecting your laptop to a separate monitor, or screen, is often very
Take Frequent posture breaks: Sitting or standing for long periods almost
always leads to stiffness and puts Excessive strain on muscles. One should take
frequent posture breaks after every 20 to 30 minutes .
Avoid neck strain from texting : Texting or looking down at your cell phone or
mobile device for any length of time puts excessive strain on your neck. Instead of
bending your neck down to look at your phone, try holding it up straight in front of
Proper Sleeping position: Find the mattress that is right for you. While a firm
mattress is generally recommended. Sleeping on your side or back is more often
helpful for back pain. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your
legs. If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees.
Correct lifting position: To pick up an object that is lower than the level of your
waist, keep your back straight and bend at your knees and hips. Do not bend
forward at the waist with your knees straight. To lower the object, place your feet
as you did to lift, tighten stomach muscles and bend your hips and knees.
Practice Posture correction exercises: Exercising for at least 30 minutes three
times a week, focusing on a mix of stretching, strengthening, and aerobic
A good posture isn’t just about sitting or standing properly or about looking good. A good posture is holistic and includes everything from how to sit, stand, walk or sleep. With much practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down (as described above) will gradually replace your old posture.
All these positions deeply affect our health, mood and overall happiness quotient.
Written by : Deepti Sood