How often have you been told to “stop slouching and sit up straight”?
It’s something that is drilled into us from a young age with parents and teachers often telling us that we’ll hurt our back if we slouch too much.
But is this really the case? Can posture really be the cause of our back or neck pain? Read on to find out more…
The next posture is your best posture
A common phrase you’ll hear among physiotherapists in “the next posture is your best posture” - basically what we’re trying to say is that there is no “perfect” posture, the most important thing is to simply MOVE more!
If you were to ask someone what the “perfect” posture would be, they would likely tell you to sit upright with a straight back, your shoulders drawn back and your head held high. The problem with this position is that it requires a lot of muscles to be working quite hard to hold your body upright and it’s not sustainable for long periods of time. If you were to try and sit in the position for hours on end then your muscles would fatigue, which would likely lead to aches and pains in your back.
Likewise, if you were to sit in a slouched position for hours on end, then the muscles in your neck would need to work really hard to support your head, which would fatigue the muscles over time and likely lead to aches and pains in your neck.
When you are experiencing aches and pains while sitting for long periods of time, this is your body telling you that it wants to move more. The problem is not the specific position you are sitting in, but generally the period of time you have been sitting in this position. We shouldn’t be scared of one particular posture, but we should try to avoid any sustained postures.
Below are a couple simple tips to remain comfortable while sitting for long periods of time at a desk;
MOVE REGULARLY - change positions often while you are sitting. Don’t be afraid to slouch occasionally if it’s comfortable for you
GET UP - getting up for a quick walk (even if it’s just a lap around the desk) is a great way to get your body moving. The more movement the better!
If you’re unable to get on top of aches and pain when sitting for long periods of time then book in to see one of our physiotherapists for more management advice.