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Does Poor Posture = Pain?

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to sit up straight while studying, I’d be able to pay for my grad school tuition. No matter how hard I try to keep “perfect” posture while studying, I always resort to what’s comfortable.

     Let’s face it, we could all have better posture from time to time… But what even is perfect posture and why do we need to conform to societal expectations of how we should sit and stand? Some people may say that perfect static posture while sitting at work or standing in line at the grocery store can save you down the road from aches and pains. But is that true? Could your posture at your work desk be the reason for you lower back pain?

     The answer to these questions is  likely no. The majority of scientific research out there shows no relationship between poor static posture and pain. So, stop wasting money on fancy desk chairs or pillows for your back and sit in the position which feels the most comfortable and allows you to get the most work done. Instead of straining yourself to achieve proper static posture when sitting, vary your posture. If you have a job that requires a lot of desk work, take breaks, and keep moving to redistribute the stress. In fact, there are apps that will alert you every set time interval and provide you with a few stretches to perform.

     Worry about posture when it matters, while you’re in the gym. Proper alignment is crucial when performing dynamic movements such as lifting weights and CrossFit movements.  Compared to sitting or standing still, which involves relatively small forces on your body, weighted movements such as the squat, deadlift, overhead press, and Olympic weightlifting movements involve much more stress on the body. A conscious effort should be made to achieve proper alignment and posture while performing movements done in the CrossFit gym. If you’re having pain with any of these movements, grab a coach. It could be as simple as fixing the way you set up for the lift to reduce your pain. 

 

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