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BLOG: A Peek at Posture

Tired of hearing your mother and teachers telling you to "Stand up straight!"? Turns out they may have a point...

“Straighten up!”

We’ve all heard it, either from our mother, or our teachers. So years later, as we wonder why we have pain in our back, shoulders and neck, we think maybe they were right!

To correct and maintain good posture, Lucas Meyers, physical therapist and athletic trainer with ATI Physical Therapy, suggests following these tips:

Standing

  • Use the balls of your feet to bear your body weight.
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and arms hanging naturally along the sides of your body.
  • Your earlobes should be inline with your shoulders. Don’t push your head forward.
  • Pull your shoulders back, and stand tall and straight.
  • Engage your abdominal muscles, and tuck your stomach in.
  • When standing for a long time, shift weight from one foot to the other, or from heels to toes.

Walking

  • Keep your head up, eyes forward, with your chin parallel to the ground.
  • Don’t push your head forward.
  • Keep your shoulders back and aligned with the rest of the body.
  • Touch the ground with your heel first to help ensure alignment and balance.

Lying or Sleeping

  • Your mattress should be firm enough to keep your spine in a straight alignment, without compromising comfort.
  • Sleeping on your back or side is preferred over your stomach.
  • Use a pillow to fill the curve of your neck. Your head shouldn’t be higher or lower than your spine.
  • If sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your legs.
  • If sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees.

Sitting

  • Be sure your shoulders are straight, your back is aligned against the chair, and avoid slouching or leaning forward.
  • Be sure the chair is designed to support your low-and mid-back.
  • When sitting at a desk, arms should be bent at a 90 degree angle at your elbows.
  • Keep your knees and hips inline with each other, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Don't sit in the same position for too long. Get up, move around and stretch.

Driving

  • Sit with your back aligned against the seat for proper back support.
  • Adjust your seat so your arms have a slight bend when gripping the wheel, and your knees are even with your hips.
  • The headrest should support the middle of your head.

If your posture has you in a painful slump, stop by ATI for a Complimentary Injury Screening. We’ll evaluate you and provide you with options for continued care.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

DiscoStu January 11, 2013 at 03:38 PM
So you're saying people in Havre de Grace have bad posture and that's why this article is featured? Or that if you pay Patch enough you can get an ad disguised as an article. Comment moderated in 3...2...1...
Sean Welsh January 11, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Hi, DiscoStu — Many of the individuals and organizations that post in our Local Voices have lent their expertise to our readership. I think, in this case, the organization is actually offering up a fair share of free and useful information. We also try to feature our posts in Local Voices if we think they're of interest to the community. Anyone interested in starting their own to lend their area of expertise to Havre de Grace, or other Patch communities, can email me at sean.welsh@patch.com or start your own right here: http://havredegrace.patch.com/blog/apply Thanks for reading, Sean

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