Why ‘Sitting Up Straight’ Is Not The Answer To Your Back Problem

How many times have you been told

To ‘sit up straight, it’s bad for your back’. 

Quite a few I imagine and also I’m going to guess that a lot of times it will have been your mother or father who said it. 

Why? Because more than likely it was their mother and father who said it them, and so on. 

But is there any truth to it and why do so many people think that sitting up straight is good for your back. 

It may look nicer and you may look more confident but is that not just a perception. Does it actually help your back?

Some figures show that between 58 – 84 % of adults will experience low back pain at some time in their lives and a good chunk of these, I imagine, would agree that their posture is not good and that they should sit more erect to help their back. 

But is there any truth in this?

Your back muscles have to work harder when you sit straight

You can try this out for yourself. Put one hand on your lower back just to one side of your spine. Slouch and you will probably not feel much at all but when you sit up straight you will feel the lower back muscles tighten and pop up at you. 

So, your back muscles have to contract to maintain a very straight, erect position. 

If you have to sit in this position for period of time, those muscles will start to fatigue and tire.  

If you are someone who already has back pain, there is a strong chance that your back muscles are stiff and tight already.

So therefore, this position is going to add more strain on those muscles that are already working hard, which is going to stress them even more and more than likely result in more ongoing pain. 

So is it alright to slouch a little?

Yes it is. By slouching a little bit you allow your rib-cage to depress which takes the pressure off your low back muscles. In fact, a lot of people who come to see me with back pain will be told to slouch more, as they will often be sitting far to straight and erect.  

Now, before I go any further, I will say that if your spend the day sitting in a slouched position, you will possibly will feel stiff afterwards, but that is because you spent the day sitting. 

The best posture to adapt is one that changes position regularly, there by moving the muscles and tissues so they don’t get irritated and stiffen up. 

Finding the true stressor is key

Everyone is different and everyone’s back pain will be unique to them so finding the reason behind someones pain is key.

This is the second step of my 6 step system and once this is found a treatment plan can be build around it to ensure a successful outcome.  

This outcome will be individual to the person and it may be for someone to be able to lift their grand-kids, go hill walking or return to the gym. 

If you have been struggling with back pain and would like to get another opinion then you can download my free back pain tips book to start the process of easing your back pain today.

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