People slouching

the straight scoop.

how good posture can keep you healthy.

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Our mothers and grandmothers constantly told us to “sit up straight.” It turns out these wise women probably knew something we didn’t. Good posture leads to good health.

What is good posture?

How the spine's vertebrae align in the back

In short, good posture depends on your spine’s position. Ideally, whether you’re sitting, standing, or sleeping, your head, shoulders, neck, spine, and hips should be well-aligned for good static posture.

When we’re not well-aligned.

Poor posture can result in a wide range of health issues including:1

    • 1
    shoulder pain

    Shoulder, back, and neck pain.

    Over time, slouching or slumping while seated can create pressure on your spine, shoulder, and neck.

    inhale and exhale

    Breathing problems.

    If your body is not in proper alignment, your diaphragm cannot expand and contract fully, reducing the oxygen you take in.


    Circulation problems.

    Sitting with bad posture for long periods puts pressure on the spine and reduces circulation, leading to issues like high blood pressure, bladder problems, and varicose veins.

    sharp, painful headache


    Slumping in your chair can create pressure on your head and neck.

    angry mood


    Bad posture can lead to fatigue and irritability. Sitting up straight can make you feel confident and in control.

    Did you know?

    Constantly looking down at your phone, tablet, or laptop can lead to “tech neck”. When you tilt your head down, between 45-60 degrees, it puts 50-60 pounds of stress on your neck. Compared to the 10-12 pounds when your head is straight up.2

    • 2

    But as busy as we all are, who has time to think about posture?

    Fair. But the truth is that good posture, in most cases, is simply a matter of habit. And habits can be formed as well as broken. You can make a few minor changes in your posture, repeat them daily, and improve your health. Start creating good posture habits while you are:


    a person sitting in a chair

    Sit all the way back in your chair and keep your feet on the floor; get up and walk around every hour; and stay hydrated.


    a person driving

    Keep your seat back upright and bend your knees slightly; use your seat’s lumbar support or a rolled-up towel behind your lower back.



    Skip the pumps and choose lower shoes for daily wear.


    a person laying on their side

    Back sleepers – use a small pillow under your neck; side sleepers – keep your head level with your spine.


    a person stretching

    Build those core muscles – especially your abs – to support your spine.


    back massage

    Stretch while you’re watching tv; get a massage from a partner.

    Test your posture.

    spine alignment

    Stand with the back of your head touching the wall and your heels about 6 inches away from it. If your posture is OK, your backside will touch the wall, and your lower back and neck will be 2-3 inches from it. If not, ask a doctor for help improving your posture.

    If posture issues like headaches, neck pain, or back pain are affecting your overall health, turn to MDLIVE for reliable 24/7 care. MDLIVE board-certified doctors provide care for more than 80 common, non-emergency conditions.

    Posture fun fact.

    Winner of Miss Perfect Posture

    Believe it or not, in the 1950s and 60s, Miss Perfect Posture pageants were held. Contestants were judged not only on beauty, but also by their spinal X-rays, and whether both sides of their bodies were equally weighted.

    • 3 If you have a medical or mental health emergency, call 911. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a life-threatening condition or acute or severe symptoms.

    Posted date: September 26, 2022

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