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the straight scoop.

the straight scoop.

how good posture can keep you healthy.

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?

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.

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when we’re not well-aligned.

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

  • shoulder, back, and neck pain icon

    shoulder, back, and neck pain

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

  • breathing problems

    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

    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.

  • headaches


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

  • mood


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

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

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:

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working: 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

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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

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dressing: Skip the pumps and choose lower shoes for daily wear

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

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exercising: Build those core muscles – especially your abs – to support your spine

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

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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.

Miss 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.

Andres Gomez