Don't sit up straight!
Don’t slouch, sit up straight! Isn’t that what your Mum would always say?
What if I told you, there was no such thing as one ideal posture for your back? I bet that sounds pretty good to a lot of you who feel like you are constantly straining your back when you force yourself to sit in the conventionally upright position – particularly if you’re working at a desk all day!
I can feel the collective head shakes from all the Mums, as I slouch at the computer writing this. Okay…I never said slouching was good for you either, BUT, it may not be worse for you than actively straining to sit up straight all day. In fact, a relaxed posture, NOT a slouched posture, is less likely to result in back pain than sitting up straight all day.
A perfect posture would put minimal strain on muscles, ligaments and joints. That’s all well and good for a short period of time, except when we force our muscles to sustain one static position, they start to work harder and end up straining to maintain that position.
It’s not a perfect world and you have to work at a desk all day, so what is the best posture? Well, the best posture is your NEXT posture! Catchy phrase, isn’t it? This simply means get up, move and change positions. At least eveyr 30 minutes, we should be standing up and having a short stroll before we sit back down again. That’s probably about as often as you find yourself slouching and remind yourself to sit up straight, yet again! This little walk doesn’t have to be far, or long, we just need to hit the rest button to give our backs a chance.
Okay, that’s enough for now, my back hurts. I’m off for a stroll.
Hopefully this has been a good reminder that instead of trying to maintain any one posture, we should be striving to AVOID prolonged postures, or at least a good reminder to call your Mum. Make sure you say “Hi!” from me.
– Ariana Axarlis