Have you heard of the 90-90-90 rule?
The 90-90-90 rule is when you sit with your hips, knees and ankles at 90 degree angles, as shown in the picture above. This can be a useful starting point but we shouldn't hold ourselves there all day long.
Slouching is not the alternative.
Posture is essentially how you hold your body, and it can be important for your comfort and health.
The goal of having good posture is to minimize strain on your spine and its supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments. There are two types of posture. One is Dynamic posture which is how you hold yourself when you’re moving your body, like when walking or running. Static posture is second one and it is how you hold yourself when you’re not moving, like when you’re standing, sitting, or sleeping.
Slumping or slouching regularly can lead to a slew of issues over time. Resulting degeneration of your spine can make you more prone to injury like a herniated disc. You may also experience neck, shoulder, and back pain, decreased flexibility, less joint mobility, poor balance, bad digestion, and even difficulty breathing.
Plenty of things can lead to bad posture, from old habits to health conditions affecting your spine.
However, other factors can also add to poor posture, like having your work desk set up in a way that leads to slouching throughout the day or regularly being hunched over your phone when you’re texting.
In certain cases, people have health conditions that contribute to bad posture. Scoliosis causes the spine to curve sideways in a way that can make a person’s shoulders, waist, and hips uneven, so it’s hard to have proper posture.
So, how do you actually have good posture? Here’s what to keep in mind when you’re standing.
To nail this one, you need to understand that your spine has three natural curves: one at your neck, another in your mid-back, and another in your lower back. Good posture should support those curves. The idea isn’t to stretch yourself out, but to stand in an upright way that puts the least stress on those curves as possible.
So, when you’re standing, your head should be positioned above your shoulders, and the top of your shoulders should be above your hips. In general, if your head is up, your shoulders are going to go back, and you’re going to maintain the most normal neck and back alignment for you. Reminding yourself to keep your earlobes in line with your shoulders may help with this.
If you know your posture isn’t great, there are a few things you can do to fix it.
Try this out!
Notice how you feel when you slouch. Notice how you feel when you sit or stand upright.
Tilt your pelvis forwards and backwards and observe what happens to your posture.
Observe your mouth position. Clench your teeth - how do you feel? Relax your jaw by keeping your lips together, teeth apart and tongue on the roof of your mouth - how do you feel?
Set a timer when you are sitting and notice how long you spend sitting. Write down how long you have sat in the day and notice any correlations between the length of time sitting and how you feel.
Take a moment and look away from your computer screen. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Does this change how you feel?
Take a breath. Feel where the breath goes - does your chest expand, shoulders raises? or does your abdomen expand outwards? Feel the difference between breathing into your chest and tensing your shoulders, compared to breathing into your abdomen so it expands outwards (both forwards and to the sides).
Move, shake, jiggle, jump!
If you’ve tried to correct your posture on your own and you feel like you’re not getting anywhere—and you feel like this is causing you pain—chiropractic care can be helpful in getting you where you need to be. Our chiropractic team is here to help you live a pain free life.
Book an appointment today or call us at (415) 343-7706