Sitting, standing, walking, driving, all actions we do in our daily routine. But are we thinking about their effects on our body? More specifically, about how we’re positioning our bodies as we go through our day. Back pain isn’t a stranger to anyone after a long day or carrying in big bags of groceries. However, there are a few things we can do to better our wellness while doing everyday activities. That’s why this week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to focus on our posture while sitting and standing. To begin, choose an activity, one that will allow you to focus on your posture: eating, driving, or doing the dishes are ones we recommend. We want you to pay attention to what your body is telling you about how you’re sitting and standing.
You may be asking yourself, “What is the right way to make sure I have good posture?” Don’t worry, the American Chiropractic Association has a few tips to make sure we are benefitting our bodies the proper way this week.
Keep your feet on the floor (if they don’t reach, then use a footrest).
DO NOT CROSS YOUR LEGS and keep your ankles in front of your knees.
Allow a gap between the back of your knees and your seat.
Check that your knees are at or below the level of your hips.
Relax your shoulders and let your forearms stay parallel to the ground.
Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
If available, use a backrest support for your mid and lower back.
Bear your weight on the balls of your feet.
Keep your knees slightly bent.
See that your feet are shoulder width apart.
Let your arms hang naturally by your side.
Stand straight and tall with shoulders pulled back.
Tuck in your stomach.
Keep your head level with your shoulders; DO NOT push it forward, backward, side to side, etc.
If standing for a long time, try shifting your weight from toes to heel or foot to foot.
Seems pretty simple, right? There are many long term benefits for your back by being aware of the way you are positioning your bodies. Having proper posture makes sure the stress is distributed evenly between your joints and muscles, which means you don’t get sore since nothing is under intense pressure. Over time, the outcome of having continual bad posture is pain, and it may already be affecting your everyday life. Southern California Orthopedic Institute tells us that even the way we adjust the seat in our cars may be causing us trouble without our even knowing it! Sitting too far away from the steering wheel may actually be causing an imbalance, putting stress on our lower backs. Something so simple may be putting too much strain on our bodies.
That’s why we want to challenge you this week to be aware of your posture and to focus on making sure you’re doing it properly. We suggest picking an activity you know you will do, and paying close attention to how you’re sitting or standing. Maybe watching television or driving your car is a time without too many distractions. You may be surprised once you discover how incorrectly you’ve been sitting or standing all these years. Our bodies are important, and a healthy body is a happy one!