Did you know that 80% of Americans suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives? This can be caused by several factors. Consider your posture and how you spend the majority of your day; many of us are either hunched over a desk or behind the wheel of a car.
In addition to the 40 or so hours per week that most employed Americans spend working at a desk, they also spend an average of 52 minutes driving daily. Simply put, our bodies are not meant to sit this way, our body is made to move! All this sitting inevitably created stress in the body and on joints that exacerbate sciatica, hip pain, back pain, arthritis and other joint issues.
When PBG Magazine sought out the nationally recognized expert on poster, Dr. Steven Weiniger, he old them that good posture, or as he prefers “strong posture” is more than standing up straight.
What’s Good Posture?
“Good posture or strong posture means you can control you body as it moves through space and activity. Your body stays upright and stable, even when it’s under stress or being challenged.
A person with poor posture or weak posture will fatigue quickly when trying to emulate good posture. They poke their chest out, push their shoulders back, and their head juts forward. Not only is this not the picture of good posture… there’s also no strength or control behind it – so the person will typically collapse into their normal weak posture very, very quickly. It’s no surprise these folks complain of suffering back pain even after just sitting.
In contrast, someone with strong posture has worked for it. Consciously or not, their habits support and strengthen good posture. You’ll see them sitting at work, back aligned, head over their shoulders not forward of their body.”
When it Comes to Good Posture – Can You Fake it Until You Make it?
“No. Strong posture takes work to stretch and strengthen the right supportive muscles that hold our bodies up. Faking it will only work as long as you’re actively thinking about it, then old habits – or fatigue – take over. If you aren’t willing to do anything to move your body differently, why would you expect it to change?
You can make permanent change. You can relieve the sciatica or back pain after sitting at work, or hip pain after sleeping. However it takes a commitment to do focused motion posture exercise, and learn a few new habits. Once we’ve addressed a person’s posture problems with exercise, we turn immediately to their work station, their office chair, and all of the other things that may have contributed to the back pain in the first place.
Maintaining posture improvements is important, which is why I also teach people how to adapt their posture environment in my 7 Steps to StrongPosture program.”
When you’re sitting at work and feel your back ache, or that familiar neck pain remember that good posture will reduce your risk of arthritis, and it also prevents muscle pain and fatigue, keeps your joints moving the way they were designed to move – and an added benefit, you look better too.
Dr. Steven Weiniger
1 Impairment of Proprioception in Young Adult Nonradicular Patients with Lumbar Derangement Syndrome, Marzena Olszewska-Karaban, Hindawi,BioMed Research International,Volume 2021, Article ID 5550257, 12 pages
3 Sung, P. S., Lee, D., & Hosmer, E. (2023). The dynamic postural steadiness and stabilization time between older adults with and without recurrent low back pain. Gait & Posture, 100, 114-119.
4 Stand Taller Live Longer- A Posture and Anti-aging Strategy, S Weiniger, BodyZone Press 2008