Is Bad Posture Really That Bad?

Those buskers in Bourke Street Mall that only move when money is placed in the hat have my admiration. The stamina to hold yourself stiff for minutes on end! I think of the muscle cramps they must get. Then I think of the many of us who sit all day not moving and thinking that being tall and erect is the way to go. But, there isn’t one good posture, there are lots of good postures.

In our culture, good posture is “aligned” with concepts of “being straight”, “aligned”, and “stiff”. Maybe this is a hangover of the Victorian era. We actually have many good postures to choose from. This is also compounded by beliefs that “a straight spine is a healthy spine”, “must lift with knees bent, straight back” ad infinitum. What a load of boloney.

bad posture

We actually need to be moving and changing postures. This actually will prevent or at least reduce pain. Keeping rigid in one position will. And that is because most skeletal, joint, ligament and muscle structures need movement to nourish their cells.

Many variations of normal posture

It is OK to sit and stand any way you choose. It needs to be varied. Having one posture for a long period is going to be uncomfortable and that is your body saying, “Hey time to change thanks!”. Remember whatever posture you are in, it isn’t a cause for back pain ( I co-researched it here in 2014)*, but you do need to mix it up.

The pictures here show me in lots of different but normal postures. My day is a variety of these and many more.

bad posture

bad posture bad posture

This blog post is now your official position to enjoy relaxed, mobile and varied postures throughout the day! Enjoy an active weekend!

*Laird, R.A., Gilbert, J., Kent, P. et al. Comparing lumbo-pelvic kinematics in people with and without back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 15, 229 (2014).

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* Conferred by Fellowship of the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2010