Reduce back pain by improving your posture

Are you sitting comfortably?

Are you sitting reading this with good posture? Good sitting posture would mean that you would be sitting tall with your ears lined up with shoulders, your hips bent at 90 degrees, your knees bent at 90 degrees and that your feet are flat on the floor. Ensure that your bottom is sitting at the back of your chair and perhaps use a pillow/couch cushion behind your lower back for support which will correct your middle and upper back posture.

Now you have adjusted yourself so that you now have good posture, how much better do you feel? Just imagine how much better residents in care homes would feel if they were encouraged to sit with good posture, let’s face it, they spend a lot of time sitting down so they may as well be encouraged to sit comfortably.

If residents living in care homes were encouraged to sit with good posture they would most definitely experience the following benefits:

  • Improved Digestion – regurgitation and inhalation of food and drink is less likely.
  • Reduced risk of falling –postural muscles that are strong can reduce strains and ensure that individuals are strong and steady on their feet.
  • Prevent back pain – muscles that are not overworked when supporting and stabilising the spine will not ache.
  • Improved breathing –the lungs will have enough room to expand in the chest making breathing easier.
  • Improved range of motion –joints are exposed to the less wear and tear and ensure the most efficient use of energy is exerted.
  • Improved socialisation –individuals are able to look forwards instead of looking into their laps which means that they will see their fellow residents more clearly and be able to communicate easier.
  • Improved memory and learning – more oxygen can be taken in and when the body has a good oxygen supply cognition can improve.
  • Improved wellbeing – Sitting tall can make you feel more confident and noticed.
  • Improved neck and shoulder health – less strain will be placed therefore will be less painful.

So posture really is important and can make a significant difference to the lives of individuals living in care homes.

Credit: Matthew Newton Physiotherapy Assistant