Stand up Straight! How Posture Affects Your Bone Health

Health Articles

Jan 11, 2024

posture and orthopaedic health blog title for Tidewater Orthopaedics

No one ever reminds you once you’re out of school, but your teacher telling you to sit straight in your chair was not just about manners. Your posture significantly impacts your bone health and stability throughout your life. While slumping down feels natural to so many of us, especially during long work days in front of the computer, maintaining proper posture is vital to keeping our bones in proper alignment and our joints functioning well.   

At Tidewater Orthopaedics, we often see patients struggling with conditions like osteoporosis, arthritis, and chronic pain that stem in part from poor lifelong posture habits. Fortunately, you can actively improve your posture at any age in many simple ways, starting today. 

Why Posture Matters for Your Bones 

Good posture puts less strain on your back, hips, knees, and all the connecting muscles and tissues. This reduces abnormal wearing that can lead to inflamed joints or damage over decades. Proper upright alignment also allows your skeleton, from your skull down to your toes, to share and distribute weight optimally so no one area bears too much pressure. The result is healthier development of bone density and less risk of weakened areas prone to osteoporosis down the road. Finally, a balanced, upright posture gives you a strong center of gravity for stability, helping prevent the likelihood of painful and even dangerous falls leading to fractures and other injuries. 

Tips for Improving Your Posture 

Here are some of our top daily tips for keeping those bones supported through improved posture: 

  1. Set up your workstation properly to encourage good posture, whether using a laptop or desktop computer. This includes positioning your chair at the right height with ample lumbar support for the natural curve in your lower back. 

2. When sitting for long periods, put reminders in your calendar to get up, stretch, and walk for at least 5 minutes each hour. Keep shoulders back while sitting.   

3. Sleep on a medium-firm mattress with cushioning for pressure points in side-sleeping positions to maintain spinal alignment. Use a slim pillow under the knees if on your back. 

4. Wear shoes with adequate arch support and watch for signs of wearing down. Replace shoes every 6 months or 500 miles. 

5. Do regular strength training exercises for core abdominal muscles, upper back areas, and shoulders. These provide essential active support for maintaining proper upright posture. Yoga is also excellent for improving posture. 

6. Use posture cue reminders like apps or wearables that provide subtle alerts when slouching. Or simply place regular sticky note reminders to “Stand up straight!” around your home or office. 

As always, check with your physical therapist or orthopaedic specialist if you have concerns about posture-related pain or health impacts. But in most cases, being mindful of simple daily posture habits can greatly protect your long-term bone health and stability. Your future self will thank you! 

If you're experiencing pain or discomfort or are worried about orthopaedic conditions, make an appointment with one of our experienced providers. We have offices in Hampton, Williamsburg, and North Suffolk. Click here to make your appointment, or call our office at (757) 827-2480.

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