- The definition of a good posture is maintaining the alignment between the body parts by applying the right amount of muscle tension against gravity. We surely cannot sit at our desk and use formulas to calculate muscle tension or gravity every minute when even sitting straight on a chair for a while seems like an arduous task. Our slouching backs then progress to the most common complaint among almost every person who has a desk job: back pain. Popping a painkiller or a quick massage with a balm will get you back on track but if you have persistent back pain, maintaining a correct posture will help manage it better and will save you from any possible long-standing back problems that could result from the pain. Following are some posture habits that you may have to incorporate to rid yourself of recurrent back pain:
- Standing right: A good posture is not only crucial while sitting but also while standing. Everything from the way you bend over to pick something off the floor to how you stand in a ticket-counter line affects your body alignment. Following are some tips for maintaining a good posture while standing:
- Bear your body weight mainly on the heels of your feet.
- Bend your knees slightly and keep the distance between your feet the same as the distance between your shoulders.
- Let your arms hang down along the sides of your body.
- To stop from hunching or slouching, just maintain alignment between your earlobes and shoulders. Do not push your head back, forward or towards the side.
- If you are standing in an unending grocery line or if you have to wait a long while to get a seat in the train, shift your body weight from the heels of your feet to your toes. You can also move your weight from one foot to another from time to time.
- Every time you stand, line up your head, shoulders, knees, and toes, tuck in your stomach, and stretch your spine.
- Sitting up straight: Whether it is sitting during a long drive, in an office chair or while riding a bike for too long, most people experience a backache due to sitting for a long time. Following are ways to ensure that you are sitting right:
- Use a footrest to place your feet, in case your feet do not touch the floor.
- Keep your knees at the level of your hips or below.
- Position your ankles in the front of your knees.
- Do not cross your legs while sitting.
- Maintain a small gap between the front edge of your seat and the back of your knees.
- Distribute your weight evenly on both the hips.
- To get good support for your back, adjust your chair’s backrest according to your mid and lower back. Tip: Keeping a pillow behind your lower back helps align the middle and lower back position.
- Do not keep your shoulders tensed, keep them relaxed. Keeping your shoulder muscles tensed might lead to a frozen shoulder.
- Do not sit in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
- Hunching over laptops or phones has made backache a common problem. Following are some tips that will give you relief from backache while you try to maintain a good posture:
- Strength training and exercises like crunches will strengthen your core muscles, reduce back pain and prevent other back problems like spasms and strains.
- Keeping up spinal health is vital for maintaining a good posture and avoiding back pain. Foods like leafy green vegetables, milk and yogurt increase calcium levels, and egg yolks and fatty fish improve vitamin D levels in the body.
- Opt for low-heeled comfortable footwear. Heels put a strain on your feet, legs and back, and lead to back pain and a multitude of other health issues.
- Set a reminder to follow a stretching routine every hour to give your muscles and bones a breather. It will also make you relaxed and feel alert.
- If your back pain has been consistent for more than a couple of weeks, use the HealthAssure app to find a chiropractic clinic near you and get your back checked. You can also look for a pathology lab near you to test your calcium and vitamin D levels.
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