It’s true that good posture is a reflection of the way we look and feel about ourselves, but it’s more than that— much more.

Good posture is one of the simplest things each of us can do to prevent muscle pain, stiffness, and tension as well as back “aches,” pain, and injury.

Good posture is actually quite simple — it means keeping the three natural curves of your spine balanced while standing, sitting, and lying down.


Contrary to what many of us were taught, good posture does not mean standing with shoulders thrust back, chin forward, and spine straight as an arrow. Actually, you’re using good standing posture when your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are “stacked” in a straight line. (Note: Your shoulders should be relaxed and your knees slightly bent.)


While sitting, you can keep your spine balanced by again “stacking” ears over shoulders and shoulders over hips. To prevent lower back strain, place a lumbar roll (or rolled-up towel or sweater) between your lower back and the back of your chair. Keep your buttocks resting against the chair back, and if your feet don’t reach the floor, rest them on a footstool or box.

Lying Down

When lying down or sleeping, try resting on your side in a modified “fetal” position (knees slightly bent toward chest) or on your back with a pillow placed beneath your knees. Sleeping with more than one pillow under your head can exaggerate your cervical (neck) curve and can place undue stress on your lower back. Choose a firm mattress for adequate back support.

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