Growing up, you probably heard your mother’s demands to stand up straight and keep your shoulders back. Well, May really is the month for Mom. Not only do we celebrate Mother’s Day but also Correct Posture Month. Along with our tips, you can put Mom’s advice to good use and practice great posture.
Good posture helps us sit, stand, walk, and lie while putting the least amount of strain possible on the supporting ligaments and muscles. Good postures helps us keep our joints and bones in correct alignment which reduces the risk of joint pain and arthritis, allows our muscles to work more efficiently, prevents fatigue, and helps prevent back pain and muscle strain.
There are many contributing factors to poor posture, including obesity, tight or weak muscles, improper footwear, and stress. A poorly designed workstation, inflexibility, and unhealthy standing and sitting habits also contribute to poor posture.
We know that good posture is key to good health, and most of us have seen someone with a hunched back, showing the signs of years of bad posture. But beyond “shoulders" back” and “sit up straight”, do you know how to stand, sit, and lie for best posture?
How to stand for better posture
Maintain most of your weight on the balls of your feet, and keep your knees slightly bent. Allow your arms to hang naturally while standing up straight and tall. Keep your shoulders back and tuck your tummy in.
How to sit for better posture
When seated, your feet should touch the floor. If they don’t, it’s time for a footrest. Use the backrest of your chair to support your middle and lower back and keep your shoulders relaxed with your forearms parallel to the ground. Another useful tip is to avoid sitting in the same position for extended periods of time. Get up, walk around, and stretch at least once every hour.
How to lie for better posture
The key element of proper lying posture is finding the right mattress! Go with what is most comfortable for you, whether it be firm, soft, or somewhere in the middle. Always sleep with a pillow and avoid sleeping on your stomach, as it forces you to twist your neck.