Why is posture so important? Why a proper posturing is very crucial in exercises or activities such as yoga and martial arts, or while sitting or standing? Well, if to answer it in a single sentence, right posturing is advised in order to avoid injuries to one’s ankles, joints, and body as a whole. While walking, sitting, running, or doing some activities that involve a lot of physical movements, for the body or body parts to feel less or no strain at all, the force components acting on the various parts and joints in the body must be equally balanced out or be distributed so that no part individually takes the entire stress of the action performed. When this balance is disturbed – owing to bad posturing – the body part that endures the most strain invariably breaks down, leading to one injury or the other. This must be read in the backdrop of the fact that recent studies conducted on back injuries have confirmed that more than 90% of the cases involving bad back are rooted in bad posturing, especially while sitting or while driving. Accidents and other issues come next only.
From the foregoing, it is pretty clear; follow a proper posturing, else be prepared to pay the price. Having said that, it brings up another question – what is the ‘proper’ posture to maintain while we do our common activities such as sitting in a chair, in front of a PC, or while driving a car? In other words, while doing these things, which posture is good for the body, or which has to be avoided?
Most of the injuries happening to the lower back – the most common of all injuries due to bad posturing – owe a lot to the sitting style. The scene is further grim if the person has a fair amount of fat around his/her waist and in the belly. So, how one imposes oneself on a chair matters a lot at the end of the day. For a healthier back, while sitting, make sure that your backbone is pretty straight at all times and is not acting like a lever while you move to your sides. Don’t be too relaxed or too stiff in your posture. It must be somewhere in between. Further, every half hour or so, stand up or walk around for a couple of minutes. Continuously remaining glued to the seat is not at all a good habit, even if you are posturing in the most optimal way.
While sitting in front of the PC, it will be ideal to use a chair with a backrest that firmly supports the spine. The above rules for sitting apply here as well, but keep an eye on the backrest while selecting the chair.
Finally, while on the wheel, position the seat in such a way that it supports the driver’s back all through the entire drive consistently. That is, while applying the brakes or pressing on the pedal, your posture will be close to the seat with the backrest supporting your vertebral column firmly enough. Remember, doing something with your legs and hands meanwhile leaning forward causes undue strain on your vertebral column, and that has to be avoided at any cost.
Tail Piece: If you get any inkling of a stiff back or a slight pain in your back or in some joints, don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. Injuries diagnosed and treated in its earlier stages itself have a better chance for complete recovery than a full blown case.