Sit up straight! Don’t slouch! These commands may bring back memories from elementary school, when teachers surveyed rows of desks in search for crimes against good posture. At the time, we had excuses – we were tired from getting up early, or we didn’t want to be in school. Hunched forward in our desks, we let our bodies reveal radiate our boredom as we counted the minutes to the final bell. Years later, many of us have yet to break the habit, and it’s taken a toll.
Poor posture at home, work, in the car and places in between can be seen as a reflection of negative traits. Slouch at work and people may find you unprofessional. Scrunch down in a chair while in front of the TV and you may give off a vision of apathy or laziness.
Why do we sit this way? We want to be comfortable, and years of improper posture have likely conditioned us not to change. The correct way to sit and stand may appear stiff and painful, yet that’s more likely to happen if we don’t make changes.
Bad posture can contribute to a variety of joint pain-related issues:
- Back pain
- Muscle strain and weakness
- Stress on knees and lower joints
- Digestive issues from compressed abdomen
The more you slouch, the longer stiffness and aches follow you through the day. Simple changes in how you work and relax can help alleviate the stress you put on your body, and in turn increase your comfort and productivity. To get started:
- When sitting, plant both feet on the floor and avoid crossing at your ankles. Keep your knees level with your hips or lower.
- Relax your shoulders as you sit. If you work at a desk, make sure your arms stay parallel to the floor.
- When standing, keep your belly tucked in and your shoulders back. Your knees should be slightly bent, with your weight bearing on the balls of your feet.
More postures tips are available from ACAToday.org.
While adjustments to your sitting and stance aid in lessening daily aches and pains, severe joint pain could require professional care. At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic and Spine Specialists, our physicians and staff help patients improve their quality of life and pain management through different therapies. Contact us today for more information.