Human Posture for Sitting, Standing, Lifting

What is the correct human posture for sitting, standing and lifting? Read more about basic workplace ergonomics to prevent future back problems.

Sitting Posture

This low Pulaski Caesar Glider Recliner, Nimbus Seal armchair may look temptingly soft, but it's likely to hold your back in a rounded position. This may cause severe aching and stiffness in the long run, especially if you sit in it for long hours.

I really like this Bagimals Arm Chair Bean Bag but I must be careful not to sit (slouch) in it for long hours.

Park Avenue Turquoisel Arm Chair is probably better for the human posture when sitting.

See ergonomic sofa.

It is best to sit in an upright chair that supports your lower back, maintaining the normal, slightly inward curve of the lumbar (lower) part of your spine. Alternatively, buy a cushion or a lumbar roll (you can make one by rolling up a towel).

To find the correct sitting position from a forward slump, throw head back, then bend it forward to pull in the chin. This will straighten the back. Now tighten the abdominal muscles to raise the chest. Your head should be in line with the spine. Check your position regularly.

Standing Posture

Posture Evaluation Kit Baseline Posture Evaluation Kit - Model 5022

According to the team of physiotherapists at National University Hospital in Singapore...

In a fully erect posture, a line dropped from the ear should go through the tip of the shoulder, middle of the hip, back of the knee and front of the ankle bone (this is the same principle to keep when you are sitting or lying down).

How to find your Correct Standing Position

To find your correct standing position, stand one foot away from the wall to prepare...

1. Now "sit" against the wall, bending knees slightly.

2. Tighten abdominal and buttock muscles. This will help tilt the pelvis back and flatten the lower spine.

3. Holding this position, inch up the wall to standing position by straightening the legs.

4. Now walk around the room maintaining this position.

5. Then place your back against the wall again to see if you have held it.

See also some correct posture photos (more photos of human posture).

Lifting posture

If you have back problems, avoid back-stressing movements like bending forward twisting and carrying heavy loads which are all likely to cause problems. See 10 steps to healthy back.

Lifting Correctly:

Always turn to face the object you are lifting, even if it's just a piece of paper, avoid turning your body and lifting.

The right way to lift is with your elbows near your body. Get a firm grip with the palms of your hands and the roots of your fingers and thumbs rather than with your fingers alone.

Bend at your hips and knees, not your waist so your thighs carry the load instead of the back, and keeping the back straight, raise yourself with your legs.

Heavy objects should not be lifted above the shoulder level as this produces tremendous strain on the spine.

Read more about the human posture in art of lifting.

Thank you for reading 'Human Posture for sitting, standing and lifting'!

Go back to Correct Posture.

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