2PostureYour posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravityProper/good posture – involves training the body to stand, walk, lie and sit in positions where the least amount of strain is placed on supporting muscles, joints and ligaments
3‘Lazy’ Habits When it Comes to Posture Slouching (in sitting and/or standing)Locking our kneesLeaning (whether that be to one side or against something)
4Why ‘Proper’ Posture?Keeps bones/joints in correct alignment so that muscles are being used optimallyDecreases abnormal wearing on joints and stress on ligamentsPrevents strainStrong base of support to move from and optimal ROM (ie. sit at the end of chair and lift one arm in slouched position)Prevents the development of imbalances (ie. wobble board)
5Factors That Contribute to a Compromised Posture Too much or not enough flexibilityDecreased strength - muscle imbalancesRepetitive / sustained posturesPain/Injury – posture is compensatedGeneticsAgeMoodFatigueWeight
6Proper Standing Posture It’s a matter of balance and a ‘neutral’ spineHead held up looking straight ahead (pretend there is a string pulling you up from the ceiling)Earlobes lined up in the middle of shouldersShoulders back, knees ‘soft’Arches in feet are supported
7Proper Sitting Posture Sit up with back in ‘neutral’ with shoulders back (lumbar roll to maintain if needed)Distribute weight evenly on both hips – do not cross legsKnees at right angles (90 degrees) to floor and hipsFeet flat on the floorAvoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time
8Driving PostureSame key points are to be considered when driving with the exception of lower extremity positioning. Although legs must be extended, try to adjust it such that knees are lower than your hips.Move seat close to steering wheel to avoid slouchingWhen getting in and out of your vehicle, swivel your legs in and outAdjust your rear view mirror when you first get into the car. Remember, from this point on, adjust your posture, not your mirror.
9Proper Sleeping Postures Try to sleep in a position which helps you maintain the natural curves in your back, preferably on your backWhen lying on your side, place pillow between your knees and/or rest top arm over a pillowAvoid sleeping on your stomach due to the strain it places on your low back and neckA firm mattress is preferable to avoid ‘sagging’ in the spine
10Transitional Postures Sit to Stand – move to the front of your chair and use your legs to standLie to Stand – turn onto your side first, draw both knees up and swing legs over side of the bed. Sit up by pushing yourself up with your hands.
11Good Posture Requires… Good flexibilityGood ROM at the jointsStrong postural musclesA good balance of musclesAwareness of your own posture which leads to conscious correction
12Body Mechanics – Three Things to Remember Body Mechanics is defined as maintaining proper positioning during movementGet close to the loadWide base of supportAlthough we know that we ‘should’ bend our knees when lifting, one should also be aware of the position of the spine in order to avoid injury (doweling)
13Body Mechanics Basics Test the load first – too heavy, too light, awkward, or bulky are more difficult to manageVisualize the most optimal posture to approach each taskPlan your lift and/or carry – if two people are performing the move, ensure good communicationUse smooth controlled (not ‘jerky’) movementsAvoid twisting and bending, move your feet to face the objectWhen carrying, hold the item close to the bodyVary tasks when able to avoid imbalances and ‘wear and tear’ on the bodyPushing is easier than pulling
14More tips…Smart storage – heavier and most frequently used things store at waist height as it is the easiest level to load and unload at. Those items that are lighter and less frequently used store at higher and/or lower levels.With overhead activities, avoid extension in your low back if able. Use a stool to bring yourself up to the level of the object and get as close to it as possible. Ensure that your stepping is secure and the stool is stable.Take multiple trips if necessary, don’t try to do too much all at onceWhen having to stand to perform a task, place one foot on a step (ie. washing dishes, brushing teeth)