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Say Goodbye to Correct Posture

Correct posture infographic

Is my posture correct?

The short answer is…….. if you’re not in any discomfort, it probably is. The word is out and new research shows that there is no single correct posture. So we can relax a bit on attaining this hard to achieve perfection.

Then what is poor posture?

A ‘poor’ posture could be described as a position that causes physical stress. This may be due to an awkward, prolonged, repetitive or extreme position or positions; or combination thereof, for example, sitting for hours with your knees tucked sharply under your chair – this may cause strain on the knees or twisting your feet around your chair may lead to foot pain. It depends more on the time in the awkward position than the position itself.

We are all different in shape and size and height and genetics. Even the environments, past and current, in which we work and ‘play’ in, be it our sports, hobbies or home activities, are all different. So it goes without saying…my stressful awkward position may be your comfortable one.


For the population that spends a large time sitting, what seems important is to sit in an upright, supported, relaxed and comfortable position. So for a lot of people this will mean, sitting back in a chair that has a supportive back rest, with the feet firmly planted on the floor with the arms near the sides and the gaze comfortably ahead.


For the population that spend more time standing and those that may need to lift or do repetitive movements, the same principles apply. There is no single correct way of standing or lifting. Generally speaking, it should be an upright, relaxed and comfortable position with your arms near your sides. Some people may find it easier to bend  the back, others  the knees. So again, if you are not in any discomfort that you can associate with your postures, it is most likely correct for you.  We are all unique.

The same principles applies to sports and activities, you need to determine what positions affect you in your specific circumstances.

What is good?

A ‘good ‘posture is probably a dynamic posture. This places the emphasis on changing position and movement.

This could be in the form of:

* changing position in your chair (twisting, stretching up, arching your back if you’ve been slouching)

* taking some deep diaphragmatic breaths ( breathing into your belly as though you’ve got an umbrella opening in your chest as you breath in and closing as you breath out)

*getting up out of your chair and walking around, stretching – varying your positions.

*sitting down if you have been standing or walking for some time.

* taking breaks if you are driving long distances.

* switching from sitting on a chair to a ball or standing desk or both, if your environment allows for it

* use reminders to help you if you find that you get stuck in a zone (stickers on your screen, screensavers, alarms etc)

Ultimately being more physically active is the Answer.

The WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity, which includes leisure activities like walking, dancing, gardening, hiking, swimming or 75 minutes of vigorous activity or a combination of both per week. As well as strength training 2 or more times per week.

Don’t be afraid to use your body and move within your comfort levels.

If you experience aches and pains, there may be certain positions or elements of the positions that could be contributing towards your discomfort. Your physiotherapist can help you modify your posture or movement to reduce strain.

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