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Sit Up Straight To Avoid Back Pain
If you want a more systematic, long-term approach to posture change, consider the Alexander technique, a method that teaches you how recognize and release habitual tension that interferes with good posture.
Not all doctors in the United States are familiar with the technique, but recent research suggests that it can help with lower back pain as well as posture. A study published in TheBritish Medical Journal found that lessons in the technique helped patients with chronic back pain. A 2011 study published in Human Movement Science concluded that the Alexander technique increased the responsiveness of muscles and reduced stiffness in patients with lower back pain.
Try one session to see if it’s for you. If so, consider committing to 10 lessons. Individual lessons cost $60 to $125, depending on the teacher’s experience. Insurers will not reimburse you; group lessons may be more affordable. To find a teacher, go to the Web site of the American Society for the Alexander Technique.
Still slouching? A study published in The European Journal of Social Psychology found that subjects who were told to sit up straight with good posture gave themselves higher ratings and had more self-confidence on a given task than those who were told to slouch.
Moral: Sitting pretty yields immediate, not just long-term, benefits.