We often hear that good posture is essential for good
health. We recognize poor posture when we see it formed
as a result of bad habits carried out over years and
evident in many adults. But only few people have a real
grasp of the importance and necessity of good posture.
Why is good posture important?
Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in
positions that place the least strain on supporting
muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing
activities. Correct posture:
- Helps us keep bones and joints in correct
alignment so that our muscles are used correctly,
decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces
that could result in degenerative arthritis and
- Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the
spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of
- Allows muscles to work more efficiently,
allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore,
preventing muscle fatigue.
- Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders,
and even back and muscular pain.
Several factors contribute to poor posture-most
commonly, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural
muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled
shoes. In addition, decreased flexibility, a poor
work environment, incorrect working posture, and
unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also
contribute to poor body positioning.
How do I sit properly?
- Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if
they don't reach the floor.
- Don't cross your legs. 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
- Adjust the backrest of your chair to support
your low- and mid-back or use a back support.
- Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms
parallel to the ground.
- Avoid sitting in the same position for long
periods of time.
How do I stand properly?
- Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders
- Tuck your stomach in.
- Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in
line with your shoulders. Do not push your head
forward, backward, or to the side.
- Shift your weight from your toes to your heels,
or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a
What is the proper lying position?
- Find the mattress that is right for you. While a
firm mattress is generally recommended, some people
find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain.
Your comfort is important.
- Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows are
available to help with postural problems resulting
from a poor sleeping position.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- 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
Dr. Conboy can assist you with proper posture,
including recommending exercises to strengthen your core
postural muscles. He or she can also assist you with
choosing proper postures during your activities, helping
reduce your risk of injury.
Source: The American Chiropractic