Veteran's Health Library Menu

Health Encyclopedia

Protecting Your Back & Neck

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.

Side view of woman standing straight. Line shows her ears, shoulders, and hips are aligned.
Standing
Woman bending over at sink, supporting weight on her forearms.
Bending Over
Man ironing shirt with one foot raised on low footrest.
Working

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.

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, put one foot on a footrest. This may help ease strain on your back. The footrest should be about 5–8 inches high.

  • 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. 

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 1/1/2008
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
Disclaimer - Opens 'Disclaimer' in Dialog Window | Help | About Veterans Health Library