Last week I talked about how our posture affects our health and well-being. This week, as promised, I’ll give you some advice and a few exercises to help you achieve and maintain correct posture, balance, and ultimately, better health. I am also including ideas to help you encourage your kids to develop healthy posture.
There is so much more to this topic than I can fit in a single column, so I have included a number of sources with lots of information and advice in case you’d like to explore it more thoroughly.
Let’s start with the basics. The American Chiropractic Association (acatoday.org) offers the following advice on correct posture:
How do I sit properly?
Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor. Don’t cross your legs — your ankles should be in front of your knees. Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat. Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips. Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support. Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground. Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
How do I stand properly?
Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet. Keep your knees slightly bent. Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body. Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward. Tuck your stomach in. Keep your head level — your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side. Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other if you have to stand for a long time.