Why Bad Posture Hurts and How You Can Fix it

If you spend eight hours a day at your desk with your head jutted over your chest as you type, you’re going to develop an imbalance in your upper trapezius (traps). Why? Well, when your head is forward like that, the only muscles holding it up are the traps. The average human head weighs 8 pounds, and when your traps are forced to hold it up without the help of your core and the rest of your back, they become overworked, tightening and shortening in response to the constant overload. It’s like the difference between ten women trying to lift up a car versus one. All that weight was never meant for a single body to hold.

Fortunately, the solution is pretty straight-forward—fix your posture! Proper posture ensures that all the right muscles are engaged, and your traps aren’t working alone to hold up your head. 

This is how you need to sit. First, make sure your shoulders and back and relaxed, and your chin is aligned with your chest. Then, instead of slouching forward, engage your back and core to hold your torso and head up straight. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but that’s just because these muscles aren’t used to doing the job they’re supposed to.

After your posture is corrected and all the correct muscles are engaged, your traps will no longer be so chronically overloaded, and your pain will start to dissipate. It will also send the right signals to your body, giving it the chance to repair, remodel, and correct the neurological pattern of how you sit.