Body Alignment

Demonstrate to patient and family caregiver...

correct body alignment for standing, sitting, and lying.

 Standing alignment:

  • Head erect at midline.
  • Shoulders and hips are straight and parallel.
  • Vertebral column straight when viewed posteriorly.
  • Head is erect and spinal curves aligned in reverse-S pattern (view laterally).
  • Abdomen is comfortably tucked in and knees and ankles slightly flexed (view laterally).
  • Arms positioned at sides, feet placed slightly apart, toes point forward.
  • Center of gravity, at midline, forms vertical line from middle forehead to midpoint between feet.

Sitting alignment:

  • Head erect and vertebrae in straight alignment.
  • Body weight evenly distributed on buttocks and thighs.
  • Thighs parallel in horizontal plane.
  • Both feet supported on floor with ankles comfortably flexed.
  • A 1- to 2-inch space is between edge of seat and popliteal space.
  • Forearms are supported.


  • Patient is in lateral position with positioning supports removed.
  • Adequate mattress supports patients body.
  • Vertebral column in alignment without noticeable curves. 


  1. Discuss body mechanics and positioning with patient and family, including the hazards of prolonged immobility.
  2. Provide opportunity for return demonstration by family or caregiver.
  3. Provide community resources to patient, family, or caregiver.