Most of us still remember our parents to keep a good posture. I was told to sit upright and when I was walking around I had to keep my chin up and my shoulders back. Unfortunately I have to confess that I didn’t do any of it. You see, it is much easier to slouch and have your shoulders hang forward.
But no matter what position you are in, your posture affects your spine and keeping a poor posture can lead to all kinds of ailments. And, possibly the most important reason for people who don’t hurt and think they are healthy: it looks better. And that’s not just my own opinion, studies have shown that. Someone with good posture radiates strength and confidence. Thieves prefer helpless victims and will often skip the person who walks erect and confident – this person might know some kind of Karate. Even in the job world, people with good posture are often found in leading positions in the company. And don’t forget your voice: try to speak while hunching over in front of your computer screen. It just doesn’t sound energized and powerful. Many telemarketing trainers now teach to stand up to add vigor to the voice.
But what about your spine in poor posture? It increases the strain on your back muscles and therefore can add pressure onto discs (cushions between vertebrae), which in turn can cause trouble in the long run.
So what is good posture and how can you achieve it? It has to do with a lot of discipline and a good workstation. In the sitting position, especially in front of the computer screen your hips should be slightly higher than your knees. This means your chair has to have the right height. Your lower back (lumbar region) should have a lordodic curve (i.e. a slight “C” curve when looking at the person’s left side from his left). The shoulders should be above the hips and backwards, pushing the chest forward. Your head should look straight ahead; that’s why the top edge of your monitor should be at eye level while the keyboard should be located right above your thighs. That’s one reason to get yourself another monitor or keyboard when using a laptop at all times. The monitor edge can’t be at eye level while the keyboard is right above your thighs.
The rest of the workstation should give easy access to frequently used items such as the phone, the mouse, etc.
Knowing the complexity of the human spine, it is vital to protect it any way you can. There are several layers of muscles keeping your vertebrae in place so keep your spine strong and keep yourself in shape. Walking, swimming and weight lifting will help your spine in two ways: if properly performed they will help you loose weight which will decrease the extra strain and they will strengthen muscles in the back and even in the front (abdominals).
Remember this: we are meant to use our bodies, so from time to time get up and move around. Just look at Genesis 2: 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. So go ahead and take care of it and work it!