Is good posture overrated as a reason for back pain?

Aug 22, 2023

Are you tired of being told to sit up straight and fix your posture to avoid back pain? Well, you may be surprised to learn that good posture may not be as important as we once thought. For ages, bad posture has been vilified. It has been directly assumed to be the singular cause of back pain.

According to Peter O’Sullivan, a professor at Curtin University, there is little evidence to support the idea that bad posture causes back pain. In fact, O’Sullivan and his team of researchers found no association between sitting posture and back pain. Instead, they suggest that our spinal health is linked to our overall health, including staying active, eating well, and getting enough sleep.


So, does this mean you should slouch all day? Not exactly. While posture may not be the main culprit of back pain, movement is still important. In studies, researchers have found a link between people who don’t move much between different sitting postures and back pain. This suggests that our bodies do best when we’re regularly moving between different postures and working different muscles.

This is why sit-stand desks have become so popular in modern offices. While standing in a static position can be just as stressful on the body assitting, regularly switching between sitting and standing can help alleviate back pain and promote overall health.

So, what should you do if you’re experiencing back pain? Focus on staying active and incorporating movement into your daily routine. This could include taking frequent breaks to stretch or walk around, practicing yoga or Pilates, or simply finding ways to move more throughout the day.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sitting up straight if it feels comfortable and makes you feel good. Just remember that good posture alone may not be enough to prevent back pain.

In conclusion, while good posture has long been touted as the key to a healthy back, recent research suggests that movement and overall health may be more important factors. So, don’t stress too much about sitting up straight all the time. Instead, focus on staying active and finding ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine. Your back (and your overall health) will thank you!