Regular and targeted exercise makes the day safer, easier and more enjoyable. Using good posture and body mechanics when doing exercise and daily activities protects your back and limbs. Body mechanics refers to the way you move during daily activities. It can also help reduce injury and pain. Good posture strengthens your body.
There are three natural curves in your spine: at the neck, upper back, and lower back. Maintaining these natural curves ensures the strength of your spine. We can maintain our natural curves with good posture and body mechanics. This prevents strain on our muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.
You can be less distracted and more attentive by practicing mindful awareness and focusing on your posture, body mechanics and the sensations in your body as you move. Mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness. It takes no extra time and can help you avoid rushing and losing attention. When you are rushing, you are focused on the future and less on what you are doing right now.
Body mechanics exercises, such as the “Hip Hinge,” are designed to improve your posture, coordination and stamina. As Dr. Aaron Armetta demonstrates the hip hinge movement, take note of his body mechanics and posture. When practicing this exercise, bring your attention to the present moment and the sensations that you are feeling within your body as you maintain good posture and body mechanics.
Looking for information on physical therapy? Check out the Physical Therapy section of the Veterans Health Library: https://www.veteranshealthlibrary.va.gov/rehab/PhysicalTherapy/.
For more information and tips on Moving Your Body through the Whole Health Components of Health and Well-Being visit: https://www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/circle-of-health/moving-body.asp.
Sara Grimsgaard, MHMS, NBC-HWC is a health systems specialist for the Integrative Health Coordinating Center and Whole Health Education Program in the VHA Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation.