GET IT STRAIGHT – SLOUCHING’S OK
Slouching is a habit many of us are guilty of, and may have been trying to correct since our deskbound school days.
But while we’ve been busy practising our good posture by balancing books on our head or pulling ourselves up with imaginary string, experts have discovered that sitting slumped may not be so bad.
In a paper released last year, slump-sitting postures helped increase the amount of fluid between spinal discs, helping to reduce stiffness in the joints.
The study by physiotherapists at the University Hospital of North Tees in
Durham concluded that some slouching can ‘provide a valuable alternative to sitting upright’.
And Australian studies show that sitting slouched in between periods of sitting upright can help keep muscles in the core and legs relaxed.
Gavin Smith, an osteopath from London, told the Mail Online: “There’s this cultural ideal, and even whole industries, that would argue slouching is not good for us.
“While sitting straight activates muscles in the abdomen, pelvis and back, slump-sitting relaxes them, and so some periodic relaxation is helpful.”
In fact, trying to sit as we’ve always been told, with feet flat on the floor and a straight back, can cause tension in the middle of the spine, and worse, breathing problems over time. According to some of the experts, as long as you get up to walk around after slumping for a while, it’s absolutely harmless.
“Sitting or standing in any position for prolonged periods is unwise. Slumping in itself is no worse for us than sitting up straight, provided we don’t do it all the time,” he said.
Australian researchers found that combining slouching with sitting straight was better than staying in one position for the whole day, using a variety of different muscles to encourage stability.
Mr Smith suggests switching positions every hour, including when using a standing desk – because standing up strong rather than relaxing could cause greater tension.
Getting up to walk around also prevents the gluteal muscles in the buttocks and hamstrings in the back of the legs from shortening and tightening. – The Sun