Sit Back and Relax: Seated Back Stretches
Stretching Exercises for Back Pain
Since you were in kindergarten, parents and teachers have admonished you to sit up straight. Now groundbreaking research suggests their advice may have been off base. A recent study of 22 healthy male and female subjects measures strain on the spine using an upright MRI machine. Subjects were scanned in three sitting positions (forward-leaning, 90 degrees, and 135 degrees), and the results were compared against the most comfortable vertebral position -- lying down.
According to lead investigator Waseem Bashir, a clinical fellow in the department of radiology and diagnostic imaging at University of Alberta Hospital in Canada, the forward-leaning and upright postures "reverse the natural curvature of the spine and put a lot pf pressure on it." As a result, the internal spinal disks squeeze together and lose water, which could lead to long-term back problems. However, sitting at a reclined position caused disks to move the least, confirming that it's the best sitting posture for a healthy back.
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