New research reveals that slouching while using a smartphone or working does not damage your spine. Chris McCarthy from Manchester Metropolitan University highlights that studies conducted over the past two decades show no connection between slouching and spinal pain.

Traditionally, slouching has been considered harmful and associated with negative traits, but this belief is not supported by scientific evidence. In fact, the UK government’s latest guidelines on screen use emphasise comfort and regular breaks over maintaining an ideal posture.

The research indicates that slouching is no worse for your spine than sitting upright. Our spines are designed to handle a variety of movements, from lifting weights to dancing, and are not harmed by sitting or slouching.

However, there is a caveat. Slouching can negatively impact memory and mood. Studies show that sitting upright can quickly improve these cognitive functions. Therefore, while your spine is safe, your mental sharpness might benefit from better posture.

Experts recommend varying your positions throughout the day, taking regular breaks, and avoiding awkward postures. These practices help reduce the risk of pain and muscle fatigue, promoting overall well-being.

So, if you often find yourself slouching, do not worry about your spine. Instead, focus on staying comfortable, moving regularly, and maintaining a posture that feels good for your body. Just remember, if you need to boost your memory or mood, sitting upright might help.

Chris McCarthy is a research fellow in rehabilitation at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

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