Can Neck and Back Pain Be Caused By Poor Posture

August 10, 2023Kolton Opdahl
Back & Neck Pain

Have you ever had back or neck pain while at work? Do you find yourself slouching in your work chair? How about tilting your head down to look at your smartphone for several minutes at a time? You have probably heard all about the importance of maintaining good posture, but has anyone ever told you why? First thing’s first- the term posture is used to describe the position of your body when standing, sitting, or laying down. Generally speaking, good posture does not occur naturally, and often requires consistently practicing healthy habits to achieve. Now that you know exactly what the term means, let’s review the dynamics. Good posture most accurately means that the spine is neutral (no arching or flexing), shoulders & hips are even, chin is parallel to the ground, arms at sides with straight elbows, and knees pointing straight ahead (Harvard Health, 2017).

Keep reading to find out why good posture matters, and what precautions you can take to improve it & ensure that you are maximizing your physical well-being throughout everyday activities. 

back and neck pain

How can poor posture affect me?

Poor posture can increase pain

The single most important reason why good posture is so critical is because it keeps your spine in proper alignment, which reduces overall back and neck pain. Opposingly, poor posture negatively affects your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, which can lead to pain. 

Good posture improves joint function

According to Barrington Orthopedic Specialists, the most common cause of osteoarthritis (when flexible tissue in the bones wear down) is incorrect posture (Barrington Orthopedic, 2020).  However, good posture can assist you in avoiding these tears by allowing your joints to function correctly.

Good posture positively influences mood

Sitting in an upright position and keeping your body relaxed while standing has been shown to reduce stress levels and raise self-esteem. In fact, your posture may be dependent on how you are feeling. Many people tend to slouch when they feel down, and perk up when they feel happy. That being said, try to remember this whenever your mood shifts lower so you can try altering your posture to be more upright. You may be pleasantly surprised with the influence it has on your mood!

What Can I Do?

Improving posture

In order to prevent the potential risks of bad posture, try to be mindful of your posture with each and every day. This is not something that will happen overnight, and may take a while to develop habits. You can start by staying active and participating in some form of exercise/stretching that you enjoy. This will help promote balance, flexibility, and overall body strength. Another way to practice proper posture is to be intentional about how you are sitting throughout the day by making sure you are following the “good posture” guidelines discussed earlier in this post. Try to switch sitting positions often and take short walks around your house or workplace whenever possible!


Barrington Orthopedic Specialists. (2020, June 9). The Importance of Posture. 

Does Bad Posture Cause Back Pain? (2019, October 15). Wellers Hill Physio. 

Harvard Health. (2017, January 24). Why good posture matters. 

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