As children we were told not to slouch at the dinner table or during class. What we perceived as adult nagging at the time was more likely well-meaning advice to carry us into our own adulthood. With many of us working jobs that require hours of sitting and typing, posture becomes as important an element in our lives as our skills. Poor posture increases the risk of health problems, including back, neck and shoulder pain.
According to the National Institute of Health, improving one’s posture can be beneficial to reducing back pain and discomfort in other parts of the body. Proper habits at work and home, in addition to regular exercise, can help. Tips offered by the NIH to improve sitting and standing posture include:
- When standing for long periods of time, balance your weight on your feet. Comfortable, low-heeled shoes are ideal to help maintain a good spine and straightened shoulders.
- Use lumbar support if needed when sitting at work. Sit with your feet firmly on the floor, and make sure your work surfaces are at the ideal height so you are comfortable.
- Take periodic breaks during work. Get up, stretch your arms and legs, stay hydrated and pace a bit to get the blood flowing.
- If work requires lifting objects, always lift from the knees and not the back. Keep your back straight and hold objects close to the body. Tuck in your stomach when lifting and do not twist your body while lifting.
In addition, observing a good diet and decrease of unhealthy habits like smoking and a sedentary lifestyle can supplement continued back and spine health.
+ Learn about The Spine Center of Hampton Roads which helps patients of all ages with back and neck pain. Our specialists use X-ray, MRI, CT, bone scan and other advanced diagnostic tools to evaluate each patient’s individual needs. Physical therapy is available at Bon Secours In Motion Physical Therapy locations throughout Hampton Roads.