THIS SPRING, PULL WEEDS, NOT YOUR BACK! May is “Good Posture Month,” so I encourage you at least once this week to consciously practice good posture (whether you are gardening or not). When you are sitting this means:
- 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.
Who knew there was so much to think about for something as simple as sitting?! However, studies show that good posture:
- Helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly
- Reduces stress on ligaments holding spinal joints together
- Allows muscles to work more efficiently, preventing muscle fatigue
- Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and back and muscular pain
Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.