Is There a Perfect Posture?

“Sit up straight and stop slouching!” You’ve likely heard this since childhood, but is there such a thing as perfect posture? The answer is a bit complicated. The latest research shows that thinking about a “balanced” or “dynamic” posture may be more important than a perfect one. And we’re also discovering that our ability to change positions and move may be more critical than our static position while standing or sitting.

Your posture comprises a dynamic pattern of responses, reflexes, and habits—not a single position. Gravity, your work environment, and your anatomy all play a role. For instance, sitting for hours staring at a computer screen is a perfect example of an imbalanced and challenged posture due to ergonomics. Over time, this imbalance can lead to forward head posture, which can cause pain and potentially even degenerative changes in your joints. Forward head posture affects millions of people who spend their days using computers. It places stress on the neck and shoulders and weakens the supporting muscles.

  • Forward head posture affects millions and results in neck pain for up to 75% of people.
  • Neck pain, tension, stiffness, and tenderness are all signs of chronic forward head posture.
  • Trapezius strengthening has been shown to provide clinically significant relief for those struggling with neck pain as a result of forward head posture.

Strength and flexibility play a significant role in your posture. Having good core strength and balancing that strength with flexibility can help you dynamically adapt to your environment. While “perfect” posture may not exist, each of us can improve our strength, flexibility, and ergonomics to reduce our likelihood of experiencing pain. If you spend your days looking at a computer, let us know. We’ll be happy to recommend a care plan to help you balance the effects of all that screen time.

Science Source: 

Effects of Lower Trapezius Strengthening Exercises on Pain, Dysfunction, Posture Alignment, Muscle Thickness, and Contraction Rate in Patients with Neck Pain; Randomized Controlled Trial. Medical Science Monitor 2020

Back Health and Posture. Cleveland Clinic. 2020

“Tech Neck” Taking a Toll on Posture. Columbia Spine. 2018

Upright Posture Improves Affect and Fatigue in People with Depressive Symptoms. Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry in 2017

Breaking up workplace sitting time with intermittent standing bouts improves fatigue and musculoskeletal discomfort in overweight/obese office workers. Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2014