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Sit Up! Your Posture Could Bring You Pain

Experts say poor posture at work or on the go could bring you pain all over your body.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A new survey from Orlando Health finds many of us are not concerned about poor posture even though it can have a big impact on the body. Some small changes though can make a big difference. 

Philip Hennings, a physical therapy student at New York Institute of Technology, says posture is “something people don’t pay attention to a lot of the times.”  In a few weeks when it’s time for finals, students from the ‘Posture Patrol’ at New York Institute of Technology will hand out brochures to students and faculty. Hennings says “Just correcting them with their posture or helping them become aware, I realize that it makes such a huge difference and is what we consider preventive medicine.”

Posture is a big part of our day whether we’re sitting at our desks, staring at our devices, or just walking around. Dr. Mark Gugliotti, an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, says poor posture can lead to different types of pain. “The neck, the head, the shoulders, the elbow, hips, low back, knees, feet, and ankles. The whole body is subject to any sort of postural dysfunctions,” according to Dr. Gugliotti.   

Dr. Gugliotti and his students showed CBS News the right way to sit at a desk. Your feet should be flat on the floor and your chair should be lowered to a position that helps accentuate a 90-degree angle between the trunk and hip, as well as a 90-degree angle between the upper and lower leg. Your shoulders and elbows should also be at 90 degrees. The computer screen should be an arm’s length away and adjusted so your eyes are looking at the top third of the screen without moving your neck up or down. 

We all look down at our phones and devices. This creates another posture problem that can impact the back and neck. “Having your phone more towards the front of your face would be the best scenario,” according to Dr. Gugliotti. 

Don’t forget about your posture when you walk. You should keep your back straight, not slumped, and try to pull your belly button in towards your spine.

And if left untreated, poor posture can lead to nerve compression in the back of the neck, which can lead to headaches. It can also impact the lungs of patients with asthma, COPD, and emphysema. 

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