How to Improve Your Posture
We have heard that good posture is important. After all, our mothers would be disappointed if we didn't at least acknowledge that standing and sitting up straight was something to aim for. But why is "good posture" so good?
First by standing up straight, you balance your weight above your feet, leading to better balance. By maintaining good posture as you move and exercise, you also can prevent injuries and produce greater results.
Now, let's define what "good posture" is so you can move throughout your days maintaining balance, preventing injury, and improving your body overall.
Static and Dynamic Postures - Defined
Static posture is the position the body is in while the body is not moving, or is static. Dynamic posture is simply the position the body is in at any moment during a movement pattern. It is essentially a “snap shot” of the body during a movement, whereas with static posture the snap shot is always the same because the body is not moving.
Where to Start: Proper Orthopedic Posture
You should be able to draw a straight line from ear to ankle (pictured to the right).
- Ear over shoulder
- Shoulder over hip
- Hip over knee
- Knee over ankle
Desk and Keyboard Setup for Proper Posture
- Chin – the chin should be tucked in, avoiding an extended neck
- Shoulders – the shoulder blades should be pulled together (or retracted), keeping chest upright and neck straight
- Elbows – the elbows should be bent at 90 degree angles, preferably with forearms resting on an padded armrest
- Wrists – the wrists should be in a neutral position, not bent upward or downward, resting on keyboard
- Hips – the hips should be bent at 90 degree angles. Adjust the seat height to reach this position.
- Knees – the knees should be bent at 90 degree angles from thigh to ankle. A foot rest may be necessary to reach this position.
- Ankles – the ankles should be bent at 90 degree angles.
- Feet – the feet should be firmly planted on the floor, hip-distance apart.
Special Considerations for Driving Posture
- Utilize the lumbar support feature to provide optimal support for your low back.
- Place the steering wheel so elbows reach a comfortable 45 degree angle.
- Use both hands while driving to avoid “slumping” to one side.