Back Care - Posture Pointers
Posted by Eileen Pelletier on December 07, 2016. 0 Comments
You may not be able to prevent every episode of back pain, but being mindful about how you move your body helps to keep your spine strong and stable. Poor posture makes your muscles and ligaments struggle to keep you balanced-which can lead to fatigue, back pain, headaches and other problems.
Follow these tips and your back will thank you.
Sit up straight
Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest
Hips should be even or slightly higher than your knees
Place a small pillow or folded towel at the curve of your lower back, if needed
Adjust your chair height so that your eyes are near the top of your monitor
Sit for more than 60 minutes
*Tip: stretch every 30-60 minutes.
Keep your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles in line with each other
Relax your shoulders
Put your weight on the middle of your feet, not on your toes or heels, and shift from one foot to the other
Adjust your work surface to elbow height
Stand for a long time without changing positions
Wear high heels or shoes without proper support
* Tip: Rest one foot on a 1-2 inch high box or inside a cabinet door.
Lifting and Carrying
Hold items close to your body at elbow height
Bend at hips and knees
Keep your back straight
Turn your feet to change directions
Bend at the waist
Lock your knees
Reach with your arms
*Tip: Ask for help with heavy items or use carts or hand trucks and always push instead of pull.
Sit high and close to the steering wheel
Adjust your seat so that your knees are bent and slightly lower than your hips
Set the lumbar rest or use a rolled up towel to have a slight inward curve in your lower back
Drive in the same position for a long time
Sit far away from the wheel or pedals
*Tip: Try to take breaks at least once an hour on long trips.
Use a comfortable mattress
Put a pillow between your legs if you sleep on your side or under your knees if you sleep on your back
Sleep on a sagging mattress
*Tip: The average person spends 1/3 of his life sleeping. Using a back-friendly position is very important for your health.
You can also try the wall test to check your standing posture. Stand with your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks touching a wall, and your heels about 2-4 inches away from the wall. Place your hand behind the curve in your lower back, palm flat against the wall. Ideally, your hand should fill the space between your back and the wall. If there's extra space, tighten your abdominal (stomach) muscles to flatten the curve in your back. If there's too little space, gently arch your back so that your hand just fits. Keep this posture as you walk away from the wall, and try to maintain it during your day.
Try to stand, walk and sit "tall" at all times.