Perfect your Posture

Diabetics are prone to peripheral sensory neuropathy and there are a few body postures you might be doing wrong all this while. Act before it’s too late!


Among the complications associated with diabetes mellitus, postural control, which pertains to the position of the body, the attitude or carriage of the body as a whole, or the position of the limbs (the arms and legs) ranks very high. The reduction in muscle strength has been associated with increased glucose leading to decreased levels of physical activity and affecting the posture control. The general observation is that postural control is further reduced in diabetics, especially with the affliction of peripheral nerves, peripheral sensory neuropathy seems to be the primary factor.



Physical activity is strongly recommended to correct postural instability. In this context, physical activities directed at improving strength and balance can reduce morbidities related to diabetes, with significant effects observed after exercise training. Following a 6-week exercise program with a trained therapist, significantly improves leg strength, faster reaction times and decreased postural sway. Reduced falls risk in diabetic patients have been observed following the training. The balance training consists of series of exercises aimed at overall body strength, conditioning and balance exercises on unstable surfaces. Studies analysed the effects of such exercise programs in individuals with diabetes and they report that balance and postural stability can be improved leading to a reduction of risk for falls related to sensory deficits.

Poor posture over a period of time alters the natural muscular balance and the impending imbalance leads to various injuries and aches. Maintaining a good posture thus becomes important in everything we do in our daily activities viz sleeping, sitting, standing, walking, doing computer work, lifting up objects, etc.




1. Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair.


2. All three normal back curves should be present while sitting. A small, rolled-up towel or a lumbar roll can be used to help you maintain the normal curves in your back. Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.


3. Bend your knees at a right angle. Keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips (use a foot rest or stool if necessary). Your legs should not be crossed.


4. Keep your feet


5. Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.


6. At work, adjust your chair height and work station so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you. Your computer monitor should be at eye level. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed.


7. When sitting on a chair that rolls and pivots, don’t twist at the waist while sitting. Instead, turn your whole body.


8. When standing up from the sitting position, move to the front of the seat of your chair. Stand up by straightening your legs. Avoid bending forward at your waist.




1. Start with good standing posture.


2. Walking with good posture is simply an extension of standing with good posture.


3. Keep your head up, shoulders back, chest out and eyes looking straight ahead.


4. Avoid pushing your head forward.




1. When you’re lifting something off the ground always bend at the knees, not the waist.


2. The closer you keep large or heavy objects to your chest, the less you use your lower back when carrying them.


3. Balance your load to prevent stress and fatigue. If you’re carrying a heavy suitcase, for example, change arms frequently.




1. Hold your head up straight with your chin in. Do not tilt your head forward, backward or sideways.


2. Keep your shoulder blades back.


3. Keep your knees straight.


4. Stretch the top of your head toward the ceiling.


5. Tuck your stomach in. Do not tilt your pelvis forward or backward.


6. The arches in your feet should be supported.


7. Balance your weight evenly on both feet.


8. Let your hands hang naturally on both sides.




1. Use a back support (lumbar roll) at the curve of your back.


2. Your knees should be at the same level or higher than your hips.


3. Move your seat close to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back. The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.




1. Try to sleep in a position that helps you maintain the curve in your back (such as on your back with a pillow under your knees or a lumbar roll under your lower back; or on your side with your knees slightly bent).


2. Pillow should allow your head to be in a normal position.


3. Do not sleep on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest and avoid sleeping on your stomach.


By Dr. Rana K Chengappa

Associate Editor
Easy reading is damn hard writing.