Kauvery Hospital | Patient Newsletters | Maintain Good Posture Using Proper Body Mechanics

Have you ever experienced a pulled muscle in your leg or even your back? Sometimes a simple task such as carrying your carryon luggage up the stairs to the aircraft can give you terrible back pain. All this is because our body mechanics weren't employed. What then is "Body Mechanics?"

Body Mechanics refers to the movement of our bodies, as we sit, stand, bend, lift, carry and sleep, every day. Most of the times the aches and pains that we feel in our bodies when we perform the simple tasks of standing, sitting, lifting, carrying, bending or sleeping, are not due to physical stress but more particularly due to the improper ways we hold ourselves.

Here are a few Posture tips that will help you with your body mechanics and you can say goodbye to those aches and pains.

Maintaining Good Posture, while:

Standing:

1. When you stand, place your feet apart, so as to balance the entire weight of your body, evenly.

2. Draw your tailbone in, while slightly inclining your pelvis, forward and rotate your pelvis to its neutral position.

3. Throw your chest out and pull back your shoulders.

4. Lift and level your chin, relax your jaw and mouth.

5. If you are standing for a long period, then it is important to change your stance frequently, to relieve the stress on your feet. The change in position will also help improve blood circulation in your body.

6. While you are standing, check your posture and make sure you are standing properly.

7. Ensure that the surface you are standing on is firm and leveled.

8. Leaning against a wall or some support would be good, if very long periods of standing is required. This will also help reduce fatigue.

Sitting:

1. When sitting down, ensure that the entire length of your thighs are resting on the surface you are sitting on. Allow just a small space between the back of your knees and the surface you are sitting on.

2. Your back should rest firmly against the back of the chair.

3. Your feet must be flat on the floor and your knees bent at an angle of 90 degrees.

4. Even when you are sitting, you should throw out your chest, and lift and pull back your shoulders. Do not slouch.

5. Relax your mouth and jaw and level your chin.

Sleeping:

1. Always sleep on a firm mattress. Lumpy mattresses can give you terrible back pain.

2. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.

3. Avoid using too many pillows under your head, as this will cause stress on your spine.

Lifting:

1. When lifting an object, face the object, bend your knees and then lift. Do not bend over using your back or twist while lifting.

2. Before lifting the object, make sure you are directly in front of the object. Place your feet firmly apart on the floor / ground, face the object, bend at the knees, pull your shoulders back and then lift. When placing the object down again, use the same body mechanics.

3. Never stand on your tippy toes. Prolonged standing on tip toes strains your back and neck.

For that Graceful Walk:

Practice walking with a book on your head, while keeping your back straight, shoulders drawn back, chin leveled, mouth and jaw relaxed, and your eyes focused ahead of you (this tip is for the women and young girls).

Don't just stop with yourself but teach your young ones too to maintain good posture using the proper body mechanics.

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