True or False (Answers Below):
 
1. Good posture practice is all about keeping your spine straight.
 
2. In a 24-hour period, most people sit more than they stand or lie down.
 
3. Slouching is more comfortable than sitting upright.
 
4. Poor posture practice can lead to degenerative disc and joint disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. 

5. Proper working posture while sitting at your desk would properly position your hands just forward of your knees. 

6. The connective soft tissues that hold your spine together have a “memory.” 

7. Proper sitting requires that you constantly monitor the correct positions of your head, shoulders, arms, and back. 

8. You should avoid sitting for longer than thirty minutes at a time. 

9. Deskwork is a fairly neutral activity. 

10. Tight hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs can contribute to poor sitting posture.
 




1. Good posture practice is all about keeping your spine straight.

False.   Good posture practice is about maintaining the normal shape of your spine, which (from a front or back perspective) is straight, but from a side perspective your spine has three natural contours.  The normal forward arch of the neck or lower back can actually straighten out from chronic poor posture practice─and that’s not a good thing.  Remember that good posture practice also means not sitting for too long at any on time and moving your body through its complete range of motion to preserve flexibility.

 
 


2. In a 24-hour period, most people sit more than they stand or lie down.

True.  Most adults sleep 7-8 hours per day, which leaves 16-17 waking hour in a 24-hour period.  Of those waking hours, typically 6-7 are occupied by a combination of standing, walking, chores, light recreation, and exercise.  That leaves 10-11 hours mostly spent in a seated position, including work time, commuting, eating, relaxing, and during various forms of electronic entertainment such as computer gaming, web surfing, and watching TV.

 



3. Slouching is more comfortable than sitting upright.

False.  Slouching disengages the mid to lower back muscles so a person may feel a false sense of relaxation for a time, but slouching also displaces the head forward on the body, which significantly increases the strain on the upper back and neck muscles.  The result is that muscle effort is merely being shifted from one part to another.  Slouching while performing desk or computer work will also require greater arm and shoulder muscle effort.  On the other hand, sitting upright with the upper body weight fully relaxed into the seatback aligns the spine in its neutral position and is easy on the neck, shoulder, arm, and back muscles. 



4. Poor posture practice can lead to degenerative disc and joint disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. 

True.  Poor posture practice is epidemic in our society and a much greater public health concern than most people realize.  While good posture practice maintains the normal shape of the spine and ensures that the stresses and strains of gravitational compression and muscle contraction are most evenly applied, poor posture practice bends the spine out of its normal shape which focuses stress and strain on one section more than another.  The section under greater stress and strain will wear at an accelerated rate, just like a car tire out of alignment.  Furthermore, prolonged sedentary periods of sitting have been shown to suppress important hormones and enzymes which control fat metabolism in the body, increasing the risk of an array of serious health problems. 



5. Proper working posture while sitting at your desk would properly position your hands just forward of your knees. 

False.  If your hands are positioned just beyond your knees while sitting at your desk, unless you have abnormally long arms, chances are you will be reaching forward and sustaining a contraction of the neck/shoulder muscles.  To determine the correct working position for your arms, simply relax your upper arms by your sides so that your shoulder muscles are completely relaxed, then just bend your elbow so your forearm is parallel with the floor. Where ever you hands end up (typically above the mid-thigh) is the proper working position for your hands.



6. The connective soft tissues that hold your spine together have a “memory.” 

True.  If you take a piece of paper and fold it repeatedly in the same place, and later try to straightened it out again, it will still want to curl up at the fold.  The paper has a memory of where it was folded.  The connective soft tissues of the body work in a similar manner, in that they adapt to the position you are most often in and gradually start holding you in that position.  As many people tend to sit, stand, and lie down in a similar forward bent posture pattern, they eventually become shaped that way.

 



7. Proper sitting requires that you constantly monitor the correct positions of your head, shoulders, arms, and back. 

False.  Because your head, shoulders, and spine all attach to your ribcage, all you need to keep tract of is the proper position of your ribcage, and everything else will fall into place. Slouching posture drops the ribcage down and proper posture keeps the ribcage upright.

 



8. You should avoid sitting for longer than thirty minutes at a time. 

True.  Your body needs motion to assist important functions like circulation, digestion, and respiration, and to stimulate the metabolism.  Research has shown that how often you take a break to get some motion and interrupt continuous sedentary time is more important than the absolute amount of sedentary time you are subjected to.

 



9. Deskwork is a fairly neutral activity. 

False.  Deskwork is all about what is in front of you and often what is down in front of you. Furthermore, most keyboard and mouse devices require a palm-down position that rotates the shoulders and arms inward. Therefore, deskwork tends to encourage top to bottom and side to side forward rounding. Other activities such as sitting and driving, reading, or eating tend to encourage the same forward rounded posture─which is why attention to posture, well designed ergonomic chairs, and extension stretching are important.

 



10. Tight hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs can contribute to poor sitting posture. 

True.  The hamstring muscles attach to the “sit bones” at the bottom of your pelvis.  When the hamstring muscles are tight, they pull on their attachment at the bottom of the pelvis and promote backwards tilting of the pelvis, thus rounding out the natural inward lower back arch and causing slouching.