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What is the best posture?

Has anyone ever told you you have bad posture?

When we hear “bad posture”, our minds picture someone sitting slouched with a hunched back, rounded shoulders, neck bent and chin poking forwards.

This posture is only “bad” when it is sustained for long periods of time.

Another “bad posture” is trying to sustain the perfect upright sitting position, with a rigid tensed back keeping very still. Maintaining this for a short period of time is great. However, it becomes “bad” when maintained for long periods of time.

Sustaining positions can lead to muscle overload and fatigue, as well as pressure on rigid structures like ligaments and joints which can lead to pain.

Our bodies love movement. We have great ranges of movement in our neck, back, arms and legs. Our body is happy to be stretched out into all sorts of positions… however, if we stay there for hours it can become an issue.

If you have been in any position for a long period and you start to get aches or pains, this is a sign that you have been there too long, and your body is craving movement.

What positions are best if I have back pain?

If you have back pain, focusing on trying to have a “good posture” can be absorbing and seem like a never-ending battle. Our physiotherapists can guide you through other things you can focus on including:

  • Movement and physical activity

  • Relaxing your back muscles and strengthening your core

  • Keeping fit and strong

  • Healthy sleep habits

  • Reducing BMI to a healthy level

  • Caring for your mental health – practising mindfulness

At work, it can be hard to change positions often – especially if you have a sedentary job at a desk. Our advice is to

  • Get up and move every 20 minutes

  • Exercise on breaks – take phone calls whilst walking or stretching

  • Exercise before or after work

  • Change your desk set up – sit-to-stand desks are excellent

  • Incorporate regular stretching in your chair and in standing

Posture is important, but CHANGING to another posture is what is best for your body.

The best position is the next position.
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