Ways to improve posture when seated, standing or lying down

We often hear people say that good posture is important for maintaining good body balance and health. Poor posture often results from bad habits being carried out over years. Below are some tips on what you can do to improve your posture while seated, standing and lying down.

Good posture while seated:

  • Your feet should be on the floor or on a footrest if they can’t reach the floor.
  • Your ankles should be in front of your knees. Your legs must not be crossed.
  • Try to keep a small gap between the front of your seat and the back of your knees.
  • The level of your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
  • Use a back support or adjust the backrest of the chair to help support your lower back and mid back.
  • Try to relax your shoulders when you sit and keep your forearms parallel to the ground on the desk.
  • Avoid being seated in the same position for long periods of time.

Good posture while standing:

  • Try to bear most of your weight on the balls of your feet.
  • While standing keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Try to keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hang your arms down the sides of the body in its natural position.
  • Stand straight and tall lengthening through your head, with your shoulders pulled slightly backward.
  • Slightly tuck in your stomach activating your stabilising muscles.
  • Try to keep your head level with your earlobes in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head to the sides, forwards or backwards.
  • When standing for long periods of time, try to shift your weight from your toes to your heels or from one foot to the other.

Good posture while lying down:

  • Find the mattress that feels comfortable for you. Generally a firm mattress is recommended, but if a softer mattress reduces your back pain you should use a softer one. Your comfort is important.
  • Always sleep with a pillow under your head. There are special pillows available that help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position.
  • Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • With back pain, sleeping on your side or back is more often more beneficial. When sleeping on your side, try to sleep with a pillow between your legs. When sleeping on your back, try to sleep with a pillow under your knees.

Maintaining Good Posture

We provide healthy spines classes and Pilates to help with back pain. There is more information on our website.