Body Mechanics is simply, the study of the human movement. Also called as, biomechanics and kinesiology, it applies the popular principles of engineering and physics to basic human movement. Body mechanics training occurs when appropriate body movement is applied in correcting and preventing poor posture, reducing stress on ligaments, tendons and joints and in enhancing physical capabilities.
Benefits of body mechanics training include prevention of injury and fatigue as well as to enhance athletic skill. The outcome of the training can be maximized by using the correct group of muscles to avoid the need for other muscles to compensate. Using body mechanics correctly can help in increasing caloric expenditure as it increases aerobic movement speed.
There are several principles followed in body mechanics training. The first principle is on the proper alignment of the body. Tucking in the buttocks muscles and pulling the abdomen in and up can help in aligning the body properly. Also, weight should be supported on the outside of the feet as well as keeping body weight forward can help in correct body alignment.
Another principle of body mechanics training is having a wide base of support. This gives the patient maximum stability especially when lifting heavy objects. Feet should be apart with one foot slightly forward than the other. It is also good to keep feet firmly flat on the floor with about 12 inches in between when standing.
Body mechanics training also stresses that patients should keep a stable and solid center of gravity. This principle states that it is good to keep a low center of gravity and a straight back. To avoid back injuries, keep from bending from the waist when lifting objects and bend at the hips and knees instead. When the center of gravity is lowered, it reduces the tendency to lose one’s balance.
Body mechanics training can help in executing a correct turn. When one turns, it should be a whole body turn and not just a back turn.
Posture is the key when it comes to body mechanics training. With proper posture, weight is evenly distributed between all the joints in the body. Proper posture should be observed when standing, sitting and walking. The bones are the body’s foundation for proper alignment.
A physical therapist can assist beginners start with a low level as the patient is learning the correct body mechanics.
The therapist can guide the patient and make sure that the body mechanics training is tailored-fit according to the intensity and resistance of the patient.