Posture and Body Mechanics

Body mechanics is the function or action of muscles to maintain a body posture when in a static position or when performing tasks that require the body to move. Proper body mechanics maintains proper body posture or position for a given task to avoid injury such as when sitting, lifting, walking and as we go about our daily lives. Proper body mechanics sets forth a base for working more safely and efficiently. Poor or improper body mechanics are the cause of back and neck problems or other spinal dysfunctions. When the body does not move safely or correctly, the spine will experience damaging stresses that over time will likely lead to injury, accelerated wear and tear and spinal degeneration such as of the discs and facet joints.

Postural awareness should be incorporated into everyday activities. Good body mechanics are based on good posture. To practice good or proper posture perform the following:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Rotate the pelvis either forward or back to create or maintain a small curve in the lower back
  • Push shoulders back and move chest up
  • Level chin by pretending its resting on the back end of a shelf

Being aware of proper body posture during all daily activities is the best way to ensure good body mechanics. Our physical therapists will educate the patient to understand and practice the principles of proper body mechanics when standing, sitting, sleeping and lifting. In addition, Total Care Physical Therapy offers a postural strength training program that will improve the strength and endurance of the patient’s postural musculature. Improved postural strength and endurance and incorporating proper body mechanics into the patient’s daily life will help avoid or reduce the risk of back and neck pain/discomfort and serious spinal dysfunctions.