We’re Not Just Posturing.
by Jamie Bloch, MS, ATC
Everyone has their own unique posture. Our posture is controlled by our muscles, ligaments, and tendons working together with the joints throughout our bodies. These components help us maintain a stable, comfortable shape. But, did you know our posture applies to the position in which we hold our body while sitting or standing still but also hen we’re moving? This week, let’s venture into how posture plays a role into the ever-moving, and non-stop lives of the industrial athlete!
First, let’s understand the difference between the two postures we use throughout our day.
This is how we hold our body when we’re not moving. We use this posture while sitting and standing (and also sleeping!) This is the posture Sam discussed last week to improve fatigue while working in sedentary settings.
This is the posture our body holds while we’re moving. Our body subconsciously adjusts itself to help maintain our posture when we move.
Keeping In Good Standing
Keep in mind that even with these delineations, there is no perfect posture. Each of us has a unique posture that helps us maintain the stability of our own body. So, don’t stress about that unreachable perfect posture at all times. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can’t do to prevent very avoidable strains and sprains from our workday tasks. Practice good posture by:
Neutral Pelvis: Keep an “S” curve in your spine.
– Bend forward at the hips instead of the low back.
– Avoid hyperextending or locking your knees when standing.
Neutral Head & Neck: Keep ears in line with shoulders, hips, and ankles. Allow shoulders to relax down and away.
– Avoid protruding your head forward.
– Return to proper positioning and reset the shoulder and head often throughout your day. Posture is a practice!
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind during your day:
- Think about your posture in short bursts. Check on your posture throughout the day, instead of constantly thinking about it. If you notice you are feeling stiff, take a microbreak to stretch and reset your posture.
- Activate your core. You can naturally straighten your posture and keep your spine aligned just by gently squeezing your core muscles. One way to activate your core muscles is by exhaling air out while you lift something.
- Work in the Green Zone. Keeping items in your green zone decreases the load placed on the spine and makes it easier to maintain a neutral spine during tasks.
- Wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes. If your shoes are too tight it will be uncomfortable to stand or move. This can also cause unnatural positions in your feel and ankles. Has your onsite Injury Prevention Specialist talked to you about Superfeet, yet!?
Jaymie Bloch, MS, ATC || Jaymie has been a Certified Athletic Trainer for 8 years, including 5 in the industrial setting. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training, a Master’s of Applied Exercise Science, and is also a BLS instructor. She loves spending time with her husband, daughter, and Siberian Husky, working out, golfing, and camping.
Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips for the industrial athlete from Work Right NW!