Sitting Up Straight Can Cause Back Pain

Asking your patients if they spend long hours sitting up straight
may help you treat their back pain faster. According to a study
conducted at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen, Scotland, sitting up
straight for extended amounts of time places unnecessary strain
on the back, leading to potentially chronic pain problems.

At the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America
(RSNA), researchers presented the study in which they used a
form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to show that "a 135-
degree body-thigh sitting posture was demonstrated to be the best
biomechanical sitting position, as opposed to a 90-degree posture,
which most people consider normal," said Waseem Amir Bashir,
MBChB, FRCR, author and clinical fellow in the Department of
Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Alberta
Hospital, Canada. "Sitting in a sound anatomic position is
essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated
ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity, and chronic

Three different sitting positions were tested: a slouching position,
an upright 90-degree position, and a "relaxed" position - reclined
backward 135 degrees while feet remain on the floor.

Measurements were taken of spinal angles and spinal disk height
and movement across the different positions.

Spinal disk movement occurs when weight-bearing strain is placed
on the spine, causing the internal disk material to misalign. Disk
movement was most pronounced with a 90-degree upright sitting
posture. It was least pronounced with the 135-degree posture,
indicating that less strain is placed on the spinal disks and
associated muscles and tendons in a more relaxed sitting position.

The slouch position revealed a reduction in spinal disk height,
signifying a high rate of wear and tear on the lowest two spinal
levels. Across all measurements, the researchers concluded that
the 135-degree position fared the best. As a result, Bashir and
colleagues advise people to stave off future back problems by
correcting their sitting posture and finding a chair that allows them
to sit in an optimal position of 135 degrees.

"This may be all that is necessary to prevent back pain, rather than
trying to cure pain that has occurred over the long term due to bad
postures," he added.

Source: Radiological Society of North America,;

From an article in Chiropractic Economics Magazine,;


A Head's Up on Posture: Don't Be a Slouch!
	Edward L. Maurer, D.C., D.A.C.B.R..
National University of Health Sciences
Kalamazoo, MI, USA
	Susan Spinasanta
Medical Editor
Desert Hot Springs, CA, USA
Student Profile:

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. Maintaining a Healthy Spine - Posture
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An Early Message 
As a child my paternal grandmother was constantly after me saying, "Sit up
straight," "don't slump in the chair," and "walk tall!" At just about every
family gathering I could count on grandma giving me a lecture about posture.
The message was the same even as I got older. In my teenage years the
reminders became a source of embarrassment and sometimes I would actually
try to hide to escape her persistent pestering!

Well, now I'm an adult with children of my own. Often, while observing my
youngest, the faint stirrings of grandma's voice resound in my head. I'm
actually surprised to hear my own voice echoing her very words to this

How Poor Posture Happens 
Poor posture is easy whereas adapting habits of good posture often require
conscious effort. Most people do not think about their posture until someone
brings it to their attention. The benefits of good posture far outweigh the
ease of slouchy poor posture. 

You could say that poor posture habits have followed trends in society.
Children carry huge over loaded backpacks, adults lug briefcases to work,
and thousands of people spend hours hunched over a computer whether for work
or play. 

Poor posture is not only habitual, but is also seen in people with low
self-esteem, degenerative problems affecting the spine, pain causing muscle
guarding, and obesity. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Elizabeth Dewey
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 8:22 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: benefits of notetaking or sitting position

It must be the cold-- when I looked at this thread I thought "Who has
researched the effect of the slouch vs. the upright sitting position?"

Happy day everyone.

Elizabeth Dewey
Teaching/Learning Center, Delta College
University Center, MI 48710

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