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Back Safety: Standing

Good posture decreases back pain by reducing strain on your muscles. Remember to check your posture, using the self-help tips below, every time you move or adjust position.

Standing

  • To help keep your spine straight, line up your ears, shoulders, and hips.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Or place one foot slightly in front of the other.

  • Keep your knees relaxed and stomach muscles slightly flattened.

  • Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.

    Side view of man standing with ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles aligned.

Bending over

  • Bend at your hips and knees.

  • Don’t bend at your waist or round your back.

  • Rest your weight on your arms if possible.

Working

  • When standing for a long time, shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other.

  • When reaching for objects over your head, use a stepladder. When you can’t, be sure to tighten your stomach muscles to keep your back from arching. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Melinda Murray Ratini DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2022
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