The way you carry your body when you stand, sit, walk or work is very important. This is because it can affect your health, appearance and ease with which you do your work. It is therefore very important that you carry yourself properly.

Posture means keeping the natural balance of the body aligned. It is the way the body parts are held up or carried when you walk, stand, sit or work. In good posture, the back is kept straight, shoulders pull well back and head held high. A good posture can be developed by any healthy person. It requires determination and practice.

 

Keeping body parts aligned and good posture

There are three major weight centers in the body: head, chest and waist or pelvis. Good posture involves keeping the major weight centers aligned and balanced on each other, whether you are sitting, standing or walking. When an imbalance occurs, poor posture results.

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Importance of good posture or carriage

  1. Good posture enhances appearance.
  2. It helps different parts of the body to be supported by the right bones and muscles.
  3. It gives the body a comfortable and relaxed feeling.
  4. It affects the way your clothes fit you. Clothes fit better with good posture.
  5. It promotes good health.
  6. Good posture gives dignity, poise, self confidence and respect.
  7. It can improve a person’s movement and activities.
  8. It prevents body pains.
  9. Poor posture can also be considered a sign of poor nutrition.

 

Disadvantages of poor posture

Poor posture in sitting, standing or walking has the following disadvantages.

  1. Muscles of the body do extra work in effort to keep the body balanced. This could be painful.
  2. Some organs of the body may be thrown off their natural position. This can result in backache, tiredness, constipation and headache.
  3. It can also affect the functioning of the body organs.
  4. It causes waste of energy as muscles do extra work to keep body parts aligned.
  5. Poor posture can also be considered a sign of poor nutrition.
  6. It results in ill-fitted clothes.
  7. It can make a person look sluggish.

 

Good sitting posture

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For good sitting posture it is necessary to do the following:

  1. Sit with the hips far back to the chair.
  2. Hold the shoulder back without strain.
  3. Tuck in the abdomen when sitting.
  4. Support the back with the chair, do not lean forward.
  5. Let the chair provide support for the hips and lower back.
  6. Keep the head erect and chest up.
  7. Do not keep your legs wide apart when you sit. Keep them together or one slightly in front of the other.
  8. Avoid very tight dresses because they can affect your posture.
  9. Always use comfortable chair.

 

Good standing posture 

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The following points are important for good standing posture:

  1. Always stand firmly in both feet so that both of them can carry your weight.
  2. Do not place your weight on one leg.
  3. Stand with the head up and chest out.
  4. Tuck in your tummy or abdomen.
  5. Straighten your shoulder, that is, hold it erect.
  6. Avoid tight clothes e.g. tight girdles, ill fitting shoes. They prevent easy movement.

 

Good walking posture

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The following points are important for good walking posture:

1) Avoid ill-fitting shoes. They make walking uncomfortable.

2) Avoid very high-heeled shoes. They throw the body out of balance and can cause a sway-back and a fall.

3) When you walk, hold:

  • the head up and chin up.
  • the shoulders back and chest out.
  • the tummy or abdomen tucked in.

 

4) Walk without twisting and bending the body. Walk tall.

5) Lift the feet up smartly. Do not drag your feet.

6) Avoid overweight. This is because your weight affects your posture. Adopt good feeding habits because your food affects your weight.

 

Good working posture 

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It is very important to use good working posture when carrying out tasks both inside and outside the home. Every type of work requires good posture e.g. sewing, reading and writing, eating, washing and ironing of clothes.

 

Uses of good working posture

It helps the worker to:

  1. prevent bodily discomfort at work.
  2. prevent fatigue at work.
  3. do more work within available time.
  4. conserve her energy.
  5. enjoy her work.
  6. do good quality work.

 

Good reading posture

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  1. Use a good table and chair of comfortable height.
  2. Let the chair provide support for your hips and lower back.
  3. Do not bend too low towards the book.
  4. Keep the legs under the table and the hands comfortably on the table.

 

Good Ironing posture

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  1. Choose ironing board or surface of comfortable height. A good ironing board normally has an adjustable height.
  2. Do not stoop or stretch to work.
  3. Place the feet far enough apart to hold the body in balance.
  4. The weight of the body should be on the outside of the feet.
  5. The abdomen should be held in.

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