Everyone wants to be happy and successful in whatever one is doing. But unless one is healthy, he can neither be happy nor successful. The age old adage ‘a sound mind in a sound body’ is more relevant today than any other time. In this era of technological advancements in the form of several gadgets, appliances it is all the more imperative to maintain a ‘sound ‘body’; I mean a healthy body without aches and pains. The lifestyle of these days has become so busy that we generally ignore our health. It’s only when there is a backache, headache, strain in the eyes, or mental fatigue that we rush to a doctor. Would it not be wiser if we take necessary precautions and avoid such emergencies?

The simple acts of sitting, standing, using a mobile phone, working on a computer, driving a vehicle or even sleeping, if not done in the right posture can cause aches and pains in different parts of the body. It is ironic that no one taught us what the ‘right posture’ was. Unknowingly we adopt postures which are not only wrong but which put undue pressure on the ligaments, muscles, and bones resulting in severe pains. Such pains can put a brake on our mobility and derail our steady pace of progress.

What is good posture?

Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.

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 Your posture says a lot about your personality.

Imagine a strong, powerful, confident person standing in front of you. What kind of posture does that person have? Undoubtedly, the person in front of you is standing tall with an open chest and a head held high. It’s a person who looks ready to take on the world.

Correct posture of standing

When standing, you should be able to draw an imaginary straight line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee and the middle of your ankle.

Correct posture of using the keyboard

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People generally tend to bend forward while working on the keyboard of a computer or smartphone. Over time, this type of posture can contribute to you developing a rounded upper back, which can cause shoulder and upper back stiffness. Position yourself in such a way that your backbone remains vertical. Also avoid the temptation of working on your laptop sitting on the bed, as you will be bending your neck and spine.

Correct posture of using handset

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Holding your phone handset between your ear and shoulder places a strain on the muscles of the neck, upper back, and shoulders.I have seen people driving and talking on their mobile in this posture. Try to get into the habit of holding the phone with your hand, or use a hands-free device, so that you don’t have to bend your neck.

Correct posture of sitting on a chair

We know that many of us have jobs that do require us to spend time working at desks, so it is important to know the correct posture of sitting on a chair.

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Place your buttocks at the back of the seat while maintaining a small space between the back of your knees and the seat of the chair. Place your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at a 90° angle. Pull your shoulders back and lift your chest. Keep in mind that even sitting in the “correct” position for long periods of time will eventually become uncomfortable. Don’t forget to take breaks, get up, move around and stretch! This will reduce the stress on your spine and help prevent muscle fatigue and stiffness.

Correct driving posture

Many of us are required to drive a car daily. Use a back support (lumbar roll) at the curve of your back. Your knees should be at the same level or higher than your hips. Move the seat close to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back. The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.

Correct lifting posture

Generally, when we have to lift something we unknowingly adopt the incorrect position as shown below. Always bend your knees before lifting a heavy object.

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Correct posture for sleeping

No matter what position you lie in, the pillow should be under your head, but not your shoulders, and should have a thickness that allows your head to be in a normal position. Try to sleep in a position which helps you maintain the curve in your back. Do not sleep on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. You may want to avoid sleeping on your stomach. Don’t use your smartphone in bed after switching off the lights.
Correct posture for checking mobile when standing

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Constantly bending your head to look at your smartphone is damaging your posture. It puts undue pressure on the neck muscles and causes your chest to sink and your shoulders to roll forward a bit, giving you a hunchback. Just don’t look down at your phone and instead bring your phone up to eye level.

Takeaway

Maintaining good posture may help you avoid new health problems. Proper posture reduces abnormal wear and tear on joint surfaces, which can lead to arthritis. It also reduces stress on ligaments that connect spinal joints. As a thumb rule, just check that your spinal cord is straight as far as possible.

If you struggle with passivity and a lack of motivation, start focusing on your posture. It won’t immediately turn you into a confident and assertive person overnight. But it can help, and it’s so easy to do, there’s no reason not to try it.Remember “Prevention is always better than cure”.

Photo credit http://www.artofmanliness.com/

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