The Wall Test – Stand with the back of your head touching the wall and your heels six inches from the baseboard. With your buttocks touching the wall, check the distance with your hand between your lower back and the wall, and your neck and the wall. If you can get within an inch or two at the low back and two inches at the neck, you are close to having excellent posture.
The Mirror Test
(Front view) Stand facing a full length mirror and check to see if:
- Your shoulders are level
- Your head is straight
- The spaces between your arms and sides seem equal
- Your hips are level
- Your kneecaps face straight ahead
- Your ankles are straight
(Side View) This is much easier to do with the help of another, or by taking a photo.
Check for the following:
- Head is erect, not slumping forward or backwards
- Chin is parallel to the floor, not tilting up or down
- Shoulders are in line with ears, not drooping forward or pulled back
- Stomach is flat
- Knees are straight
- Lower back has a slightly forward curve (not too flat or not curved too much forward, creating a hollow back).
- Keep your weight down – excess weight, especially around the middle, pulls on the back, weakening stomach muscles.
- Develop a regular program of exercise – regular exercise keeps you flexible and helps tone your muscles to support proper posture.
- Buy good bedding – a firm mattress will support the spine and help maintain the same shape as a person with good upright posture.
- Pay attention to injuries from bumps, falls and jars – injuries in youth may cause growth abnormalities or postural adaptations to the injury or pain that can show up later in life.
- Have your eyes examined – a vision problem can affect the way you carry yourself as well as cause eyestrain.
- Be conscious of where you work – is your chair high enough to fit your desk? Do you need a footrest to keep pressure off your legs?
- Straighten Up and Stay Healthy!