We all know sitting for long periods of time can lead to back and shoulder pain. The culprit is usually prolonged, sedentary posture. Most of the back pain sufferer will admit their posture is less than ideal, and believe the magic fix is to wear a brace and be perfectly straight. Slouching is bad for your back, you should sit up straight. BUT, (of course there’s a but), there is such a thing as too straight.
Sitting with a poor posture, places strain on the spine and associated ligaments, and cause misalignments to the spine. Over time and repetition, the structures deform and surrounding muscles are forced to compensate, leading to chronic pain conditions. Having learnt this process, it is natural to assume sitting up straight will solve the problem. However, research has shown that sitting up right at 90 degrees causes the most spinal disc deviation, meaning the most strain is felt when perfectly straight. In fact, the least spinal disc deviation is found to be seated with a slight tilt backwards, and that is the sitting posture we should employ.
Furthermore, spinal movement is necessary to help rejuvenate spinal disc. Without movement (wearing a brace), the pressure is held in the same place and can cause wear and tear.
Thus, ideally people should sit:
- with back supported
- slight tilt back
- feet on the floor
- take regular breaks