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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.


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


  • 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 to 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. 


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