Practice good posture and move safely with osteoporosis
People who have osteoporosis live with a greater risk of injury from movements that involve twisting, lifting, carrying or bending. But needing to be more cautious doesn’t mean that you should stop being active.
You can take steps to increase your safety and protect yourself from fractures and falls. Learning to sit, stand and move using good posture and body mechanics makes it easier to function in your daily routine.
To help improve your posture:
- Think tall when you stand — Keep your stomach muscles tight and your weight on both of your feet. When standing in one place, put one foot up on a stool or chair rung and periodically switch to the other foot.
- Carry a small shoulder bag — Or use a bag with wheels if you need to carry heavier things with you.
- Sit in a straight-back chair with your back supported — When sitting for long periods, occasionally elevate your legs by placing your feet on a footstool or a chair rung. When seated in bucket seats or soft chairs, use a thick rolled-up towel or pillow to support your lower back.
To move safely:
- Protect your bones when coughing or sneezing — The force of a cough or sneeze can cause you to jerk forward suddenly. Get in the habit of placing one hand on the front of your chest or on your thigh for support when you start to sneeze or cough.
- Lift and carry objects, even those that are lightweight, with care — Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart and maintain the normal curve of your spine. Place one foot forward, and lower your body down to one knee by bending at the hips and knees, keeping your body weight on the balls of your feet. Be sure to kneel close to the object you’re about to lift. If the object is heavy, lift it first to your bent knee. Grasping the object, rise from the floor by using your leg muscles and gently breathe in while straightening up. Carry the object close to your body at about waist level. If possible, place your forearms under the object. When you turn while carrying an object, pivot your feet. Don’t twist at your waist.
Build your knowledge of bone health and learn strategies to avoid fractures with Mayo Clinic on Osteoporosis.