WHAT IS THE BEST POSTURE?

What is The Best Posture?

People get way too hung up on good and bad posture. We have all had that slap on the back of the head from our parents telling us to sit up straight, because it has always been believed that this was the best way to sit, and anything else looks terrible and is bad for your back and your neck.

But, have you ever noticed what happened when you consciously sit as straight as you can for a long period of time? YOUR BACK GETS SORE!

Why does this happen?

In order to keep your back straight, the muscles on your back need to tense up and straighten your spine and hold it in this position. It’s easy at first and feels good, but your muscles are not designed to do this for a long period of time. Imagine holding your arm out in front of you and putting a bag of sugar in it. Really easy, for a few seconds and then the bag feels heavier and heavier because your muscles are getting tired. Common sense tells you to put it down. Your back gets sore for the same reason when you sit straight, your muscles are getting tired, so you need to relax them.

Look at this girl here sitting at a desk. Her posture looks “perfect” because her back is straight, her neck is straight and everything looks good. But how long do you think she will be able to hold this position without getting sore? Not long is the answer. Some will last longer than others, but I can assure you, no one will last through 8 hours at work sitting like this.

So what is the best way to sit to avoid this?

Humans were not designed to be sitting at a desk or in a car for 8 hours a day. We were designed to move. So there is no perfect posture. The best posture for you is whatever is comfortable at the time. It might not look good to someone else, but if it feels good for you, that should be all that matters.

Relax, sit back in your chair, lean on the arm of your chair, put your feet up. Whatever makes you feel comfortable. Whenever your back or legs or neck get sore or stiff, get up and walk around and sit down again in a different position which is comfortable for you. These positions are sure to be more comfortable for longer than the straight back pictured above, and they are better for your back in the long run.

Look at the difference between this picture and the one above. The main difference for me is, the girl above looks nice and straight (her mother would be proud). The girl below looks comfortable. Who do you think will be able hold that position for longer? I can assure you it will be the girl in the second picture.

Why not try this yourself and compare how long you can hold each one without getting sore.
So, there you have it, your momma was wrong. Whether you are standing or sitting. Whether you are sitting on a stool or a couch, you decide what is the best posture. Get comfortable. When you start to get sore, find a new comfortable position. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re posture is bad or wrong.
If you are wondering what is the best way for your kids to sit, here is a helpful graphic:

Newsletter Sign Up

× Chat with a Physical Therapist