Good Posture Tips

The following are ergonomic tips for supporting good posture.

  • Desk should be organized so that all of the necessary supplies are readily available and within easy reach. Frequently used items should be closest with those used less often can be placed further away.
  • Rearrange desk so that specific spots are set up for specific tasks and label as needed to promote organization.
  • Make sure to gather all supplies needed for a task before starting to reduce repetitive reaching and getting up and down.
  • Don’t store heavy items overhead. Use a bottom locker, drawer, or shelf.
  • Holding items in a static position for long periods of time increases muscle fatigue and forces the joints to work harder, which could then cause pain. It is recommended that you change positions at least every 20 minutes to avoid muscle fatigue.
  • Place books you are reading propped up on the desk instead of holding them.
  • In the cafeteria or a restaurant, slide your tray when you can instead of carrying it.
  • Use large muscle groups and both hands can be used when completing tasks as often as possible. For example, instead of using your fingers, use your wrist. Instead of using your wrist, use your elbow. Instead of using your elbow, use your shoulder.
  • Open heavy doors using your shoulder/upper arm instead of your wrist/hand.
  • Use a backpack worn on both shoulders instead of a heavy laptop bag or purse worn on one shoulder. Even better, use a rolling bag when possible. Also, try to transport as little as possible.
  • Think before you load your laptop or books in your bag to take home. Do you really need them? If you find yourself transporting these items frequently, looks into getting 2 sets (ie. a school/work laptop and a home laptop; a set of books for school and one for home).
  • Use 2 hands when lifting heavier items such as books and bend using your legs, not back.
  • Hold heavy items close to your body (i.e. lean against chest or stomach) instead of away from you.
  • If you write frequently, consider building up your pencil or pen using a pencil grip or buy thicker writing utensils (you can do this for your toothbrush, eating utensils, and combs).
  • Be aware of your sitting position. Poor posture uses unnecessary energy. When sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor, your back straight and supported in the chair, and your hips and knees at 90 degrees.
  • Sit close to the table or desk to prevent extra reaching and strain on back and shoulders.