Your Posture and Pain
Bad Posture Can Cause You Pain
You may recall parents and other adults exhorting you to “Stand up straight!” when you were a kid. Well, it turns out that was good advice.
Today it’s fairly common knowledge that proper posture helps prevent pain. Still, you may not be aware just how important good posture and the right body alignment are for avoiding discomfort as you undertake a wide variety of daily activities, some of which you may not ever have considered. What follows is an inventory of ordinary tasks along with tips for performing them with good posture and so lessening the chances of both acute and chronic pain.
Good Posture at Your Desk
Does your job involve sitting a desk all day? If so, take plenty of breaks where you stand up, move around a little, and stretch. When you are sitting at the desk, maintain good posture by having back straight, your chest out, and both feet in front of you and float on the floor. Also, raise your head.
It may be that the desk you have will make it difficult to work while maintaining good posture, but if so, it’s often feasible to make modifications. For example, a shelf can lift a monitor to a height where you can readily look at it while keeping your head up.
Good Posture While Watching Television
If you’re like many of us, you may also do a good deal of sitting in the course of watching TV. Once again, if you’re going to sit for a long time, it pays to periodically get up, stretch, and move around and to maintain good sitting posture the rest of the time. Even if you’re watching TV lying down, proper body alignment is important, so try to avoid precarious or twisted-up positions.
Good Posture on the Phone
Some of us are on our cell phones often, either because our work requires it or in the service of social lives. This can lead to “cell neck,” where your neck hurts because you kept your head cocked over toward the phone for extended periods of time. To avoid this problem, maintain good posture when you’re sitting, take breaks from your phone, and hold I higher so you’re not tipping your head over to put your ear to it.
Good Posture While Performing Chores
Household chores and yard work commonly require repetitive motions, and if your body isn’t properly aligned as you make them, chronic pain can be the result. Here are a couple examples of how to do chores with good posture:
When vacuuming, keep your body loose and your weight shifting from one knee to the other. Don’t bend at the waist or push with your arms.
When loading a dishwasher, first, stand up straight. This keeps you from slumping your shoulders. Then bend at the knees if squatting is an option for you.
Good Posture While Sleeping
Believe it or not, your posture even matters when you’re asleep. That’s what gives your body the proper support, and the proper posture is sleeping on your back.
If you’re accustomed to sleeping on your side or stomach, it may be difficult to switch o sleeping on your back. But you can do it by putting pillows on either side of you to stop you from rolling over. You may be surprised at how you wake up feeling well rested instead of stiff and sore.