Could the way you sit and stand be causing you pain? Are you suffering unnecessary discomfort or agony that could easily be remedied just by simply adjusting your posture? If you have back issues, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that nearly 80% of Americans will have some sort of problem with their backs at some point in their lives. Why is it that your back is so susceptible to injury?
The Importance of Posture
If you don’t take the initiative to sit and stand in a manner that corresponds with spinal fitness, you are likely to cause undue pressure on your back and the nerves around it. According to Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, OCS and chief of physical therapy at Harvard University during an interview with WebMD
, a person “can increase the pressure on your back by 50% simply by leaning over the sink incorrectly to brush your teeth.” If that’s all it takes to create pressure and strain, it’s easy to see why problems resulting from improper form during more strenuous actions, such as weight lifting and doing yard work, can wreak havoc on your body. That’s why it’s so important to keep proper posture no matter what you’re doing.
What is Proper Posture?
Whether you’re sitting, standing, walking or engaging in some sort of activity, you want to maintain a posture that supports the natural curvature of your spine. Keep your face straight ahead with your shoulders down and slightly back, as if you’re pushing your chest forward. Also, make sure your shoulders are stacked right above your hips, not leaning forward or behind them. Tilt your pelvis area slightly back and tuck in your tummy, as if you’re trying to button up a pair of jeans that are a little snug. By keeping good posture, you’ll give your back the support it needs to stay healthy and strong. This will help you live a pain-free life with a back that can endure all the activities you enjoy now and well into the future.