6. BODY MECHANICS AND POSTURE
Ø Body mechanics means the co-oriented use of the body
parts to produce motion and maintain equilibrium in
relation to both internal and external forces.
Ø Posture is the relationship of the various parts of the body
in activity or at rest.
Ø Positioning a patient in correct body alignment means
to give proper support to the body in order to maintain
muscle tone and eliminate strain.
Purpose of good body mechanics and posture
1) To provide maximum comfort and relaxation
2) To aid in normal body functions
3) To prevent contractures and neuromuscular deformities
4) To conserve maximum possible energy by preventing
In correct standing position the head is held erect,
back is kept straight as much as possible, chest is put
forward, shoulders are kept back, elbows are slightly
flexed, wrists are extended, fingers are slightly flexed,
abdomen is drawn inward and kept flat, knees are slightly
flexed, and feet are pointing ahead and parallel to each
other about 3 inches apart.
Fig.6.1 Standing Position
Knowledge of correct standing position is necessary
because all other positions are modifications of standing
When a nurse helps the patient to sit or lie down in
bed, she follows the principles of correct standing position
and keeps the patient's body in good alignment.
In sitting position, the weight of the body is
balanced by ischial tuberosities, the buttocks and the
Elbows are flexed and supported, hips are flexed at
right angles to the trunk, knees are flexed at right angles to
the thighs, and angles are flexed to right angles to the legs
and are flat on floor. Back is held erect and the back and
buttocks are supported by the back of the chair.
Positions used for patients :
• Dorsal position: Patient is flat on the bed with legs
extended and arms at the sides of the body. This is not a
comfortable position, as the curves of the body are not