Proper Posture

Proper posture allows appropriate movements of our body and avoids fatigue during routine activities. This automatically increases speed of work and makes one more confident. Improper posture does not allow proper positioning of joints and leads to extra strain on ligaments and muscles resulting in pain, sprain and fatigue. Abdominal organs too do not function properly in forward bending postures.

Improper posture is the main cause of most cases of neck, back and low back pain. Our spine, which keeps us straight, is made of 33 small pieces of bones (each one called as vertebra). Spine has a backward curvature at back (thoracic spine) and forward curvature at neck and low back. Proper posture implies maintaining these curvatures of spine all the time.

Standing up:

Standing UpWhen you are standing up straight, your ears, shoulders, hips & ankles should be in straight line. Keep your head straight. Chin should be parallel to ground. Both hips and shoulders should be at same level. Keep your back and knees straight. Bring your chest and low back little forwards to make them straight. Ensure that both legs carry equal weight.

Below are the instructions for carrying out your day-to-day activities with an appropriate posture.

1) Lifting any object (bucket, bag, child, grocery, weight, etc) from ground by bending at waist with straight knees is wrong. Instead, sit down with some distance between your legs, keep your back straight, and bend knees and hips. Lifting Baby
2) Fig
3) Lifting heavy objects- Keep object as close to your body as possible if it is heavy. Keeping heavy object away from body strains your lower back. Use your back instead of hands to push heavy objects (furniture, car, etc.). Lifting
4) Do not bend for long time while sweeping floor, ironing clothes or washing hands at wash-basin. Use a long handle broom or sweep in sitting position to avoid strain on your waist. Bend at knees and keep your back straight while washing hands at wash-basin. Standing at Wash Basin
5) Keep a small stool under one of your foot if you are going to stand for ironing or cooking in kitchen for long time. Standing at Iron Table
6) Always walk with a straight back. Always use good footwear. Avoid high heels. Do not use worn-out footwear. Heels of all footwear should be same if you are using more than one.  

Sitting on chair:

Sitting on chairKeep your knees in 900 while sitting in a chair. The height of chair should be such that your legs rest on the floor. Hips, too, should be in 900. Waist should touch the back of chair. Keep a small pillow behind your waist if it does not reach back of the chair. Keep your back straight. . Maintain your shoulders at same level. Neck must remain straight without bending forward. Back bend after prolonged sitting can be avoided by placing one thigh over another of by using a small footrest. While working on a table, keep chair as near to the table as possible. While working on computer, the screen and eyes should be at same level. Go for a intermittent short walk if you have to sit for prolonged period.

1. Always sit straight. Your neck and back should be in the same line. Bend at your hips rather than at your back if you want to bend forwards. It is not advisable to read, watch TV or entangle in conversation by rolling around on floor. This strains muscles of your neck and shoulder. Always keep your TV set little above your eye level. Reading on chair
2. Do not keep your legs in hanging position while sitting on chair. Do not bend your neck forward. Keep at least 1 feet (30 cm.) distance between eyes and book. Putting one lap over the other reduces strain on your back. Contracting abdominal muscles i.e. pulling them inside (antah kumbhak in Yoga), also reduces strain of your back. Reading on sofa
3. Sit straight while driving (scooter, motor cycle, autorikshaw, car or heavy vehicles).Use seat-belt while driving a four-wheeler. Keep seat near the pedals so that you can easily press break or clutch. A far away seat bends your back and leads to pain. Seat-back should always be straight. Driving

Do not use chair or sofa that is too soft. Keep your foot on a stair or stool while wearing socks.

1. Keeping a pillow under your knees while sleeping gives you a natural position. Bed should not be too soft. Bed should be little firm though it is not advisable to sleep on a floor-mat. Do not use wrought old cotton- bed. Sleeping position 1
2. Always use pillow while sleeping. It supports to your neck. If you don’t want to use pillow, use a neck support. Pillow should not be too thin or too thick. Thickness of pillow should be equal to breadth of your shoulder. Your neck should remain straight while your head rests on pillow. Keep your knees slightly flexed while lying on one side. If you keep pillow between your knees while lying on side helps to keep your waist straight. Sleeping position 2
3. Holding knees chest (knee-chest position) is not advisable. Never lie on your belly. Keeping one leg and holding another near your belly also bends your back. Raise leg-end of your bed to get rid of your habit of sleeping on belly. Sleeping position 3
4. Turn on one side while getting out of bed.