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What Is The Best Posture? (A Physiotherapist's Answer)

I get asked this a lot by my clients. Everyone wants to know what position they should get into for work or school or even in sports. This may be of concern for people because of aches and pains they are experiencing in a certain posture, or perhaps because an individual would like to prevent issues for the future. These are legitimate concerns but there are some simple explanations!

Firstly, it may help to know WHY people experience discomfort from sitting in the same position for a long period of time. One of the main theories to explain this posture-related pain is BLOOD FLOW. Experts believe this pain may be ischemic in nature, which in other words means that the structures under stress begin to require more oxygenated blood over time. Since blood flow is optimal with movement due to the muscle pumping action and increased heart rate, the fact that you are in a static position for a period of time may lead to discomfort. It may mean that there is a blood flow deficit.

So what’s the solution?!

The quick answer is that it’s not so much about what posture you have, but more so about how frequently you get out of that posture. That’s why the famous saying goes “The best posture is the NEXT posture”. The most effective way to address your posture-related pains and aches may be simply to get up and move around or go for a walk.

Additionally, there’s actually not a very strong correlation between posture and pain. Some individuals with great posture and symmetry may develop aches and pains if they sit for long periods of time, whereas you may know someone that has terrible posture but never complains about any pains!

Final thoughts on what the best posture may be FOR YOU:

Despite position not being as important as previously thought, you may still benefit from certain positions more than others, and there may be some postures you would still want to reduce or avoid. So if your symptoms are persisting and don’t go

away just by getting up an moving more often you may want to consult with your physiotherapist.

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