Your "body mechanics" refers to the way that your body moves during daily activities. When you sit, lift items, stand, walk, bend over, and sleep, you can strain and put pressure on various parts of your body if you do not use proper body mechanics while doing them. Knowing how your muscles, bones, ligaments, and joints all interact with each other can help you to avoid discomfort and injury.
When going about your daily activities, how should you sit, stand, and sleep to make sure that you are not putting unnecessary strain on your muscles and joints? Here are the basics of your body's mechanics which can help you prevent injury:
- Always stand up straight and keep your spine in the "neutral" position. This means that your spine shouldn't be rounded forward or arched back too far.
- Keep your shoulders back and your chest out.
- Your chin should be level.
- Keep a proper posture when standing, but avoid standing in one position for too long. This puts less stress on your spine and reduces muscle fatigue.
- If you have to stand for a long time, find a solid, stable object to support yourself on.
- When sitting, always try to sit upright, not slouching, with your spine straight. You know if you are sitting properly if you can put your hand through the small space between your lower back and the seat. A rolled up towel placed here can help you make sure you maintain proper sitting posture.
The average person spends about 1/3 of their time in bed, so it's important to think about the best position to sleep.
- To avoid putting pressure and stress on your spine, it is usually best to sleep on your back or side.
- When sleeping on your side, put a pillow between your knees, or if sleeping on your back, behind your knees to keep your spine in the right position and reduce strain.
When you understand your body's mechanics, you will be conscious of how to use your muscles in perfect harmony, which will keep your muscles, joints, and ligaments working as they should and can help you avoid many injuries.