Practicing Good Back Habits
Good back habits can help you keep your spine healthy and pain-free. Learn correct posture and body mechanics, and perform stretches and exercises to strengthen your back. We can also advise you on topics, such as nutrition and stress management, that will help you further improve your health.
Posture and body mechanics
See the Do’s and Don’ts below for help practicing good posture and body mechanics.
Posture refers to the way you hold your body. Whether you’re sitting or standing, your posture affects your spine’s alignment. Poor posture puts extra pressure on the spine, which can lead to back pain and other problems. To improve your posture, stand straight and maintain the curves of your spine. This means keeping your chin level, your shoulders back, and your stomach muscles pulled in towards your spine
Body mechanics is the way you use your body when you move. It’s important to protect your spine when walking, lifting, and even sleeping. This can help prevent back injuries.
|Standing||Do stand up tall. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in line.||Don’t slouch or over-arch your back.|
|Walking||Do walk with good posture. Wear supportive shoes.||Don’t look down or walk with your head dropped forward.|
|Lifting||Do bend your knees and lift with your legs. Hold objects close to your body.||Don’t bend over with your legs straight or twist while lifting.|
|Sitting||Do sit with both feet flat on the floor. Keep your knees at or slightly below hip level.||Don’t slump, slouch, arch your back, or lean forward.|
|Driving||Do sit straight. Use a lumbar support cushion if needed.||Don’t hunch your upper back or drop your neck forward.|
|Sleeping||Do sleep on your side with a pillow between bent knees or on your back with a pillow under your knees.||Don’t sleep on your stomach or on a soft, sagging couch or mattress.|