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Sitting Posture and Your Health

Do you have good sitting posture? It can contribute to increased energy and stamina, better breathing, improved circulation, greater confidence, a slimmer taller look, and improve overall health.

Efficient sitting posture and work habits are important to long term health in the workplace.

Good posture. Shoulders down and back. Head is not leaning forward but inline with the body.

Good posture stems from understanding and maintaining balance between the four main curves of the spine.

Overall Benefits of Good Posture

  • Helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment so muscles can be used properly.
  • Helps to decrease abnormal wear and tear of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis.
  • Decreases stress on ligaments holding joints of the spine together.
  • Prevents the spine from becoming fixed or restricted in abnormal positions.
  • Prevents fatigue as muscles are used more efficiently.
  • Prevents repetitive strain or overuse syndromes.
  • Prevents backache, muscular spasm, and headaches.
  • Helps you look strong and confident.

If you experience back pain that restricts your activities and lasts for more than three or four days, stop holding back and visit a professional.

Many of us have a variety of bad postural habits that get in the way of good posture. Examples include heels with a height greater than two inches, carrying a heavy bag or purse over one shoulder, cradling the phone between your shoulder and ear, falling asleep on the couch in funny positions, and not sitting all the way back in a chair for proper support.

Common Contributors of Poor Posture

  • Weak muscles
  • Tight muscles
  • Decreased flexibility
  • Prolonged static positions
  • High heeled shoes
  • Foot pronation (flat feet)
  • Poor ergonomic work setup
  • Poor sitting and standing habits

Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions where the least amount of strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement, weight-bearing activities, or at rest.

Current thinking suggests that an integrated approach is the best way to tackle uncomplicated back pain. A combination of specific exercise and manual therapy, together with eliminating the triggers of your pain are often successful in getting people pointed in the right direction towards a healthy back. A significant trigger, for example, is postural difficulties related to work and daily activities of living.

Many patients that I see sit much of the day or are on their feet most of the day or night. It is these static prolonged postures that cause most musculoskeletal pain.

Correct Sitting Posture

  • Always try to sit upright as much as possible with your shoulders down and back and your buttocks all the way to the back of the seat. The very back of your pelvis should be butted against the back of the chair for support. It is when the pelvis is allowed to rock backwards (slouch) that people start getting more back pain due to hanging off joints, ligaments, and tendons.
  • If you use a back support make sure you sit right back into the chair. Think of trying to push your buttocks into the junction of the seat and upright back portion of the chair. That way the lumbar support of the chair or back support will help maintain the natural relaxed lumbar curve of the spine. If you don't have a lumbar support try using a small pillow; however, get right back into the chair first and then place the pillow in the small of your back to maintain the lumbar curve.
  • Keep your body weight evenly distributed on both feet. Try not to cross your legs as that rotates the pelvis backwards on the side that you are crossing over causing you to hang of ligaments and tendons.
  • Your knees should be bent at a right angle with the knees approximately at the level of the hips. Your feet should be flat on the floor. You can use a small foot rest under your feet to achieve the proper position.

Dr. Ormond is a chiropractor dedicated to providing clients with natural, gentle, evidence based health care in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Services include: chiropractic treatment; soft tissue therapy; medical acupuncture; custom orthotic inserts and shoes; and rehabilitation. Posture advice to support the spine and relieve stress is a key element in patient care success.

Dr. Ormond's 10 General Tips for a Healthy Back

  1. Exercise regularly.
  2. Follow a healthy diet.
  3. Maintain good posture as much as possible.
  4. Do an active warm up before activity and stretch after.
  5. Don't overload your backpack or shoulder bag.
  6. Stretch your legs and back after each hour of sitting.
  7. Never cradle the phone between your neck and shoulder.
  8. Sleep on your back or side, not on your stomach.
  9. Invest in a good chair, pillow and mattress. It's worth it!
  10. Have regular spinal check-ups.

Back Problem Warning Signs

  • Leg pain with numbness, tingling, and/or weakness.
  • Back or leg pain with coughing or sneezing.
  • Difficulty standing up after sitting for any period of time.
  • Stiffness in the morning that decreases when you move around.
  • Pain in your hip, buttock, thigh, knee, or foot.
  • Inability to turn or bend to each side equally.
  • Unbalanced posture, when your head, neck, or shoulder may be higher on one side than the other.
  • Pain which prevents you from sleeping well.
  • Pain that persists or worsens after 48 hours.

Pointing clients in the right direction towards a healthy, pain free, and productive lifestyle is important to Dr. Mitch Ormond. Treating most conditions is the easy part, its following through with the decision to get a problem taken care of that is the hard part.

Call 416.598.4999, email Dr. Mitch Ormond , or drop by the clinic for more information. You can get specific directions to the clinic by filling out our Mapquest® form.

Find out more about how we can help with your individual health care needs. Appointments recommended.

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