poor posture

Is poor posture affecting your back?

Correct posture is a simple but very important way to keep the many intricate structures in the spine healthy, poor posture puts all of this at risk!

Good posture is not only cosmetic, but it also plays a critical role in reducing the incidence and levels of back and neck pain.

Putting in the effort to maintain and improve your posture is totally worth it and you will reap numerous benefits!

What is good posture?

Good posture is also known as a “neutral spine”.  When we have good posture, the muscles surrounding the spine are balanced and supporting the body equally.

Good posture is when your ears are aligned evenly over your shoulders. Your shoulders should be back and relaxed as this helps to align your spine.

Proper posture helps to maintain the natural curves in the spine of which there are three: –

  1. One in your neck (cervical curve)
  2. One in your mid back (thoracic curve)
  3. One in your lower back (lumbar curve)

Posture is unconscious, which means you don’t have to think about it.  Certain groups of muscles (postural muscles), help the body to hold good posture and prevent gravity from working against you.

These muscle groups also help with balance when moving or walking and this is why good posture is so important.

There are two types of posture: –

  1. Static – this is the posture you maintain when you are not moving, for example when sleeping, sitting still, or standing.
  2. Dynamic – this would be the posture you maintain whilst moving, for example running, walking, or stretching.

Let’s do a quick posture check!

When seated.

Feet should rest flat on the floor, with even weight on both hips.  Your back should be straight, and shoulders should be back and relaxed.  Ears should line up over your collarbones.

When standing

Legs should have a slight knee bend so that you are not locking the knee joints.

Now we know what good posture is let’s have a look at 5 of the benefits: –

  1. Reduced spinal pain.

Sitting or standing in a slouched position for long periods of time stresses your spine.  It puts a great deal of pressure on the posterior structures of the spine, including the discs, facet joints, ligaments, and muscles.

By practicing good posture, you reduce the risk of back and neck pain.   Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people miss work, so slouching or hunching can adversely affect work/life balance.

The advice is to move around, when you feel your muscles tiring or realise you are starting to slouch, get up, move around and gently stretch.

  1. Fewer headaches

Bad posture creates tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders which can lead to tension headaches that present as a throbbing pain at the base of the skull and forehead.

  1. Better breathing

When you sit or stand up straight with your shoulders back, you will find it easier to breathe.  Slouching can reduce lung capacity, leading to shortness or breath.  Having difficulty breathing can impact your ability to carry out your daily tasks efficiently.

  1. Increased energy

Poor posture can negatively affect energy levels, resulting in fatigue.  When the bones and joints are in correct alignment, it allows the muscles to be used as they are intended, so you will have less fatigue and more energy to allow you to power through the day!

  1. Decreased risk of abnormal wearing of the joints

Crooked sitting and standing, such as resting on one leg or side of the body leads to hip strain.  Over time the joints wear down naturally, poor posture speeds this process up.  If your posture is good, not many problems are likely to arise, however if your posture is bad more pain and issues arise!

If you require any tips or some exercises to help with your posture, get in touch where our fully trained therapists and Chiropractors will be only too happy to help.

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or [email address=”luton@healesclinics.com”