We’ve all heard adults telling children to “sit up straight” or “practice good posture”. Posture is body language. It can communicate if we are feeling sad or proud. Pushing our shoulders back and opening our posture can even help us feel more confident. But posture is also good for your wellness. It may even help you live with less pain.
Adopt: Reasons to Start Sitting with Good Posture
Chronic back pain can reduce overall life satisfaction by interfering with a person’s willingness to be in social situations, like going out to dinner, or going on outings, causing people to become isolated, which can lead to problems like depression (Froud et al., 2014).
Lots of factors effect neck pain, back pain, and shoulder pain, but one easy factor to fix is posture. Good sitting posture may help reduce and prevent pain (Filho, Coutinho, & Silva, 2015; Murphy, Buckle, & Stubbs, 2004).
Your posture habits may not be your fault. What we sit on can influence the way you sit. Your chair position can even affect your back pain (Curran, Dankaerts, O’Sullivan, O’Sullivan, & O’Sullivan, 2014), so it’s important to choose the chair that is right for you.
Adapt: Bringing Good Sitting Posture into Your Life
There are debates about what counts as good sitting posture. There are lots of ergonomic chairs and bouncy balls to sit on that all promise better posture. A good place to get started is to simply sit in a way that feels like good posture. Pay attention to your body and notice what feels comfortable and what feels painful or tense. Then adjust accordingly.
If you need more help adjusting your posture, try visiting a physical therapist, chiropractor, athletic trainer, or someone else trained in assessing and guiding posture movements.
Attach: Incorporate Good Sitting Posture with Your Daily Habits
If you sit at a desk, consider getting an ergonomic chair. If you drive frequently, adjust your seat or use ergonomic inserts. Take moments to practice mindfulness about your posture.
Remember: Wellness Habits Are the Foundation of a Life of Well-Being
Curran, M., Dankaerts, W., O’Sullivan, P., O’Sullivan, L., & O’Sullivan, K. (2014). The effect of a backrest and seatpan inclination on sitting discomfort and trunk muscle activation in subjects with extension-related low back pain. Ergonomics, 57(5), 733–743. https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2014.897378
Filho, N. M., Coutinho, E. S., & Silva, G. A. e. (2015). Association between home posture habits and low back pain in high school adolescents. European Spine Journal, 24(3), 425–433. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-014-3571-9
Froud, R., Patterson, S., Eldridge, S., Seale, C., Pincus, T., Rajendran, D., … Underwood, M. (2014). A systematic review and meta-synthesis of the impact of low back pain on people’s lives. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 15, 50. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2474-15-50
Murphy, S., Buckle, P., & Stubbs, D. (2004). Classroom posture and self-reported back and neck pain in schoolchildren. Applied Ergonomics, 35(2), 113–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2004.01.001