Maintaining good posture is important for keeping your musculoskeletal system healthy; preventing stress and strain on the body that would cause imbalances to the muscles and skeleton. When you maintain good posture, your muscles and joints can function efficiently, which in turn helps to avoid premature wear and tear injuries, along with general aches and pains.

“Good posture” is often referred to as a “neutral posture”. When standing, this is ensuring that the feet are placed evenly on the floor in line with hips, shoulders are back with the shoulder blades tucked inwards while the core is contracted and buttocks are squeezed under. 

An article written by Andrew T. Schlussel: about the Ergonomics and Musculoskeletal Health of the Surgeon, suggests that ‘in more than 50% of surgeons, posture alone has contributed to their symptoms’ of back and neck pain. Rosenblatt et al found that the 3 most common errors in ergonomic posture are excessive forward head position, sustained uncomfortable elevations and asymmetry in weight-bearing. “For every inch that the head moves forward in space, the relative weight on the spine increases by 10 pounds, resulting in an increased demand on the joints supporting the head.” Through this and further research, it has been shown that poor posture can:  increase pressure on the spine (in turn making it more prone to injury and degeneration), cause decreased flexibility and affect balance (increasing the risk of falling). In women, poor posture can also cause an imbalance of the core muscles which can lead to incontinence and/or pelvic organ prolapse.

However, other research into posture has suggested that there is no link between “incorrect” posture and musculoskeletal pain. An article, “Sit Up Straight”: Time to Re-evaluate, explains that there is no single “correct” posture. It explains that there are natural variations in spinal curvatures and there is no single spinal curvature strongly associated with pain. They argue that “posture can offer insights into a person’s emotions” and “some are adapted as a protective strategy”. The article adopts a “one size does not fit all” approach.

Here at Backworks, we always advise that you maintain the best posture possible. In our experience, we have found that poor posture can be related to certain pain patterns. We also understand that posture isn’t always a habit. There are a number of physical reasons why it is difficult to maintain a ‘good’ posture. This could be down to inflexible muscles, for example, tight hip flexors will pull the upper body forward and tight chest muscles will pull the shoulders forward. Poor posture can be due to your day-to-day habits like working at a desk in front of a computer, sitting on a sofa hunched over or looking down at your phone. It is never too late to save your posture. Just by doing some simple stretches and exercises, you can help to improve your posture and help prevent back and neck pain and headaches, and that’s just to name a few! 

If you would like to know how you can improve your posture and prevent injuries, give us a call on 01702 342329 or book online to see one of our massage therapists or chiropractors who through consultation and assessment can help you to achieve your optimum posture. 


i Department of Surgery, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington and Justin A. Maykel: Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
ii Rosenblatt PL, McKinney J, Adams SR. Ergonomics in the operating room: protecting the surgeon. J Minim Invasive Gynecol 2013; 20 (06) 744
iii  “Sit Up Straight”: Time to Re-evaluate by Diane Slater. MSc, PG Cert, BSc (Hons), Vasileios Korakakis, PhD, MSc, BSc, Peter O’Sullivan, PhD, Grad Dip Manip Ther, Dip Physio, David Nolan, MSc Physiotherapy, Kieran O’Sullivan, PhD, M Manip Ther, B Physio