Straightening up: How your posture affects your health

May 22, 2024, 5:47 PM | Updated: 5:56 pm

MURRAYWe’re all guilty of slouching in our chairs. But did you know poor posture can cause serious health issues? 

“We sit at our desk all day, then we go sit on the couch at night. That’s probably the worst thing you could do,” said Jeff Goff, a physical therapist with Intermountain Health. 

Whether it’s from working at a desk or staring down at a phone, more than 31 million Americans suffer from poor posture. 

According to Goff, some of the negative effects of poor posture include chronic headaches, nerve pain, impaired mobility, and trouble breathing. 

“This posture is not necessarily bad, it’s just the amount of time that you spend in that posture,” he said. “So, you can work like this, you can look at your phone for a while, but if you do that all day, it’s going to be a problem.” 

Allison Rushton knows firsthand the importance of good posture. She started having back pain when she was pregnant. After giving birth, the pain only grew worse.  

“I had pain all the way down my leg into my foot and also shooting up my neck,” she said. “I found out that I had a herniated disc in my lower back due to poor posture.” 

It took physical therapy, but she was able to regain her strength, and found that movement is the best medicine.  

“It’s now a lifelong practice for me,” she said. “The exercises that I learned here to help rehabilitate my back are things I do daily to keep it strong.” 

Goff suggests doing gentle muscle stretches, adjusting your workstation, and setting a timer to take breaks throughout the day.  

“It’s more about moving and moving often,” he said. “The best posture is your next posture.” 

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Straightening up: How your posture affects your health