How many of our mothers have ever told us to, “sit up straight” and to “stand up tall”? How many people in their workstations have been told, “You need to improve your ergonomics and adopt a neutral posture, to reduce the risk of damage to your spine”? How many workers in factories have been given the lecture “Bend with the knees, not the back or else you’ll develop low back pain and injure your spine and discs”?
Throughout our lives, we are bombarded with images, posters and videos telling us to sit and stand up straight, not slouch in order to prevent pain and injuries. Besides, in many cultures and societies, persons with “proper posture” are perceived as being more respectable, attractive, and of having even greater moral values (Gilman 2018). After all chimpanzees and gorillas slouch and are unable to stand up tall, but as human beings we are certainly more “advanced and dignified” than primates. Who knows if gorillas suffer from neck and back pain due to their constant slouched posture and poor lifting mechanics?
Despite questionable evidence, many health care professionals such as physical therapists continue to strongly support the belief that an upright or a slightly lordotic posture is ideal for sitting, standing, lifting and for maintaining optimal spinal health (Korakakis et al 2019).
This online course for physiotherapists and all rehabilitation professionals questions posture correction and presents the most up-to-date evidence about posture and what we should be telling our patients.