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Slide show: Prevent back pain with good postureBy Mayo Clinic staff
Take the wall test
To test your standing posture, take the wall test. Stand with your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching a wall, and have your heels about 2 to 4 inches (about 5 to 10 centimeters) away from the wall. Reach back and slide your hand behind the curve in your lower back, with your palm flat against the wall.
Ideally, you'll feel about one hand's thickness of space between your back and the wall. If there's too much space, tighten your abdominal muscles to flatten the curve in your back. If there's too little space, arch your back so that your hand fits comfortably behind you. Walk away from the wall while maintaining this posture. Keep it up throughout your daily activities.Next slide Previous slide
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- Tips to maintain good posture. American Chiropractic Association. http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=1452. Accessed March 8, 2013.
- Low back pain fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical/pubs/back_pain.htm. Accessed March 8, 2013.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 11, 2013.