When sitting is a constant part of your day for school or work, your posture will suffer the effects.
Think about your sitting habits
"They say sitting is the new smoking," explained Dr. Trevor Clark from Connect Chiropractic."I think the current statistic is that the average person sits for 42 years of their life."
It's a staggering number, with people in society experiencing more chronic illnesses and pains as a direct result from poor posture when sitting and from other daily tasks.
"The thing that correlates is people as a society are sitting a lot more."
Connect Chiropractic's Dr. Jane Peterson says the biggest change has come in the form of technology, with kids engaging regularly with tablets and smartphones at younger ages.
"They are in that poor posture where they're slouched and have those rounded shoulders."
How to combat poor posture
For those who are required to sit all day for work or school, it can be difficult to maintain good posture. Clark, however, shares there are a few things that can be done to maintain physical health under these conditions.
Making sure to set a timer that will remind you to move around every 15 minutes for just 30 seconds is one way you can benefit your body even when sitting for most of the day.
An office chair with a lumbar curve and a platform for your feet to rest on, also, will help your body remain supported when seated. "You don't want your feet dangling in the air," said Clark.
Clark and Peterson also recommend a standing desk, set up ergonomically to help you move well.
"You want that monitor eye-level or just above," shared Clark, "your keyboard you want your arms parallel to the floor."
Dr. Peterson recommends a use for textbooks to students who find themselves studying several hours a day. "Putting your laptop on top of the textbooks so that it's higher up [and] you're not cranking your neck down to look at your laptop screen."
Even standing, you want to move around throughout the day to give your body the opportunity to shift its weight. Often, the movement of your body becomes fundamentally more important than just whether or not you choose to stand or sit at work.
"Movement is the best thing for us," Peterson said.
Bad habits can be hard to break, though. An ergonomic set-up and awareness of your own body position can go a long way towards correcting poor posture, explains Peterson, but if those methods aren't working, your slouching could be more of a structural problem.
Crossing ankles v. crossing knees
Old principles of etiquette aren't completely out-of-date, Clark and Peterson reveal, at least when it comes to proper posture.
"Crossing your ankles there's less torsion on your pelvis," said Clark. "Our legs are our heaviest members, so if you're crossing your knees or putting one foot up on your knee, you're putting a lot of stress on your pelvis in one direction."
The benefit of chiropractic care
Poor posture is going to wear on your body, Clark explained. "These habits over time can result in stress on your spine and nervous system."
This could result in back pain, upper neck pain, numbness and tingling, shooting pain, or even headaches.
Chiropractic care will look to target the areas in question, bringing movement back into your body in a healthy way.
"We really want to focus on strengthening the muscles that are weak and stretching the muscles that are really tight," said Peterson.