The benefits of developing good posture are many. Poor posture is an easy habit to start and can be a difficult habit to break. Children who carry overloaded backpacks and adults who carry too many packages in one trip or are hunched over a computer can be causing more harm than they realize.
Good posture is straight. The ears, shoulders, hips and knees and ankles align in a straight line. Imagine an invisible plumb line from the earlobe. The line would hang straight through the middle of the anklebone. Good posture reflects musculoskeletal balance. This balance effectively helps to protect the joints in the spine from excessive stress. It also guards against injury and possible deformity. Good posture is a great tool to prevent pain in the body.
Select furniture that is ergonomically designed and that fits your body correctly.
Always sit with your back against the chair with knees at hip level. Consider using a lumbar roll and a footrest if necessary.
Don't slouch or lean forward to view the computer monitor.
Move it closer to you and be sure the monitor is at eye level to keep your head from drooping, causing strain to your neck.
Don't tilt your head to cradle the phone on your shoulder.
Use the speaker phone, or hold the phone in your hand.
Post a note on your computer to check your posture.
Take breaks. Get up and walk, stretch often.
Several mini breaks can have a maximum impact.
TIPS FOR SLEEPING
Select a firm mattress. This will help you keep your spine aligned.
Don't sleep on your stomach. Sleeping on your side or back is a better choice. Put a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back or between your slightly bent knees if you sleep on your side.
Oversized pillows do not benefit your spine. Instead, find a pillow that allows your head to align with the rest of the body.
PREVENTION IS THE KEY
Understanding the importance of good posture is something we all can benefit from. Preventing an injury and the pain that comes with it is in some cases avoidable. As Ben Franklin once said, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
As the local leader in physical and occupational therapy in our community for more than 16 years, we have helped thousands of patients improve function and relieve pain through individualized treatment programs. Physical and occupational therapists evaluate and address the underlying cause of a patient's pain or dysfunction using a diagnostic approach. We are the only local clinic to offer free consultations. We have convenient hours, accept most insurance plans and offer a self pay rate.
Chautauqua Physical & Occupational Therapy is privately owned by a therapist couple: Patrick E. Green, MS, PT, Cert. MDT and his wife, Susan Green, OTR/L. We are located in the Riverwalk Center, 15 S. Main St., Suite 220, Jamestown, 14701. For more information, call 488-2322, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.chautauquapt.com. Like us on Facebook.