Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stand for your health

   As often as possible, choose to stand rather than sit.  Most chairs are not good for your back.  How often have you gotten up from a chair and felt sore or stiff in your lower back or hips?  Standing helps restore your body to it's natural state of balance.  But most of us aren't comfortable when we stand because, over time, we've developed poor postural habits.  We've forgotten how to stand comfortably.  We lock our knees and push our hips forward.  These two things put a tremendous strain on your lower back so standing becomes uncomfortable and we head for the closest chair.
   To stand comfortably, imagine you are going to "perch" on the edge of a high stool.  I say "perch" because your torso will remain upright (rather than lean forward, which we do when we sit in a  chair).    Bend your knees a little and think of your hip bones aiming straight down.  Your knees release forward and your hips release back  When you come up off that high stool, stop before you lock your knees back.  Ideally, this positions your hips under your shoulders.  Having this alignment and maintaining that little "release" in your knees and hips will help you stand with ease and can help prevent and relieve lower back pain. 
   Whenever you stand, have your weight balanced between your legs and through the bottoms of your feet. 
   In all my classes I have a "standing" assignment:  I ask students to practice standing comfortably, as often as possible.