Despite knowing that prolonged sitting can cause various health problems like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, most of us end up sitting throughout the day. Blame the corporate work culture, our studies or driving on roads jammed with Diwali traffic, sitting continuously for long hours is unavoidable. Trouble is, it can lead to spine and neck problems. That’s why it’s so crucial that we sit in the correct posture.
On World Spine Day today, let’s look at what is good posture and ways to achieve it:
What Is Good Posture?
Posture is described as the position in which you hold your body while sitting, standing or lying down. Good posture puts the least amount of strain on the muscles and ligaments while you are sitting, standing, lying down, walking or performing other day-to-day activities in your daily life.
Good posture helps to maintain the right alignment and the right amount of muscle tension in the important parts of your body. It prevents the wear and tear of ligaments, muscles and joints. Good posture improves spine health and helps us to maintain balance while exercising or moving.
The Best Sitting Posture
The best sitting posture depends on various factors, like the height of the person, the chair or the surface they are sitting on, and the activity they are performing while sitting. To improve the sitting posture, one should follow these key points:
- Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest.
- Don’t cross your knees or ankles.
- Keep the back of your knees slightly distant from the chair.
- Your knees and your hips should be at the same height.
- Keep your ankles in front of the knees.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed.
- It is best to keep your forearms and knees parallel to the floor.
- Keep your elbows at the sides to form an L-shape with the arms.
- Sit up straight – you should ideally be able to see the three arches in your spine in profile, in a mirror. Keep your neck as relaxed as a rope.
- Keep your back against the chair. Using a backrest or cushion to support your lower back region is a good idea.
- Exercise regularly to strengthen your body.
Sitting posture while working on a computer
People who work on computers for long hours need to take some extra precautions and steps to maintain the right sitting posture. You can work on computers and still have a healthy back by just keeping the following things in mind:
- Keep the computer monitor at arm’s length, right in the line of your sight.
- Sit straight, keeping the screen on a level with your eyes or chest. This will make it easier for you to read and you will not need to strain your neck and upper back.
- Use a headset or hands-free device for long calls.
- If you are the employer or office admin, you could look into options like standing workstations, footrests, wrist pads, backrests, ergonomic chairs, or a yoga ball. You could also stock different types of keyboards and mouse to fit each employee’s needs.
No matter how much we want to change it, but sitting for long hours has become a necessity today – and it comes with its ill-effects. However, knowing the right posture and making some conscious changes in our unhealthy lifestyle can save us a lot of pain and troubles.
This story is contributed by myUpchar, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, read our article on Slipped Disc: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention.