Anyone who has ever been “yelled at” or reprimanded for poor posture for preferring a “slouching” position to sitting up straight may find something of interest in this most recent research into correct sitting.
Researchers in Aberdeen, Scotland, lead by a doctor working out of a Canadian hospital determined that the “slouching” position may actually be far better for the back and spine than the “sit up straight” position most of us learned in school. Dr. Waseem Bashir of the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada lead the study.
MRI studies were performed on 22 volunteers placed in three different sitting positions as shown here:
The MRIs were examined to measure spinal angles plus spinal disk height and movement across the different positions. It was determined that excessive disk movement indicated a potential for problems.
According to the findings, the relaxed position of 135 degrees was determined to be the best as it created the least amount of movement or stress. The 90 degree, upright position was proclaimed the worst. “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 illness,” said Dr. Bashir.
“We are not created to sit down for long hours,” added Dr. Bashir. “But somehow modern life requires the vast majority of the global population to work in a seated position. This made our search for the optimal sitting position all the more important.”