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Posture and Body Mechanics. Posture Your posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity Proper/good posture – involves training.

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Presentation on theme: "Posture and Body Mechanics. Posture Your posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity Proper/good posture – involves training."— Presentation transcript:

1 Posture and Body Mechanics

2 Posture Your posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity Proper/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 knees Leaning (whether that be to one side or against something)

4 Why ‘Proper’ Posture? Keeps bones/joints in correct alignment so that muscles are being used optimally Decreases abnormal wearing on joints and stress on ligaments Prevents strain Strong 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)

5 Factors That Contribute to a Compromised Posture Too much or not enough flexibility Decreased strength - muscle imbalances Repetitive / sustained postures Pain/Injury – posture is compensated Genetics Age Mood Fatigue Weight

6 Proper Standing Posture It’s a matter of balance and a ‘neutral’ spine Head held up looking straight ahead (pretend there is a string pulling you up from the ceiling) Earlobes lined up in the middle of shoulders Shoulders back, knees ‘soft’ Arches in feet are supported

7 Proper 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 legs Knees at right angles (90 degrees) to floor and hips Feet flat on the floor Avoid sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time

8 Driving Posture Same 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 slouching When getting in and out of your vehicle, swivel your legs in and out Adjust your rear view mirror when you first get into the car. Remember, from this point on, adjust your posture, not your mirror.

9 Proper Sleeping Postures Try to sleep in a position which helps you maintain the natural curves in your back, preferably on your back When lying on your side, place pillow between your knees and/or rest top arm over a pillow Avoid sleeping on your stomach due to the strain it places on your low back and neck A firm mattress is preferable to avoid ‘sagging’ in the spine

10 Transitional Postures Sit to Stand – move to the front of your chair and use your legs to stand Lie 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.

11 Good Posture Requires… Good flexibility Good ROM at the joints Strong postural muscles A good balance of muscles Awareness of your own posture which leads to conscious correction

12 Body Mechanics – Three Things to Remember Body Mechanics is defined as maintaining proper positioning during movement 1. Get close to the load 2. Wide base of support 3. Although 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)

13 Body Mechanics Basics Test the load first – too heavy, too light, awkward, or bulky are more difficult to manage Visualize the most optimal posture to approach each task Plan your lift and/or carry – if two people are performing the move, ensure good communication Use smooth controlled (not ‘jerky’) movements Avoid twisting and bending, move your feet to face the object When carrying, hold the item close to the body Vary tasks when able to avoid imbalances and ‘wear and tear’ on the body Pushing is easier than pulling

14 More 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 once When having to stand to perform a task, place one foot on a step (ie. washing dishes, brushing teeth)


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