How to Reverse Slouching Posture

Line up 3 different people and you get 3 different types of posture, that's for sure!

Some people present themselves as prim and posture perfect. Others seem like out and out slouches. And still, others seem to be able to use their bodies well—i.e., with reasonably good body mechanics—during movement and/or when striking common positions, all the while making it seem oh, so natural.


Teen Posture

sisters sitting on the couch looking at their cell phones
Zave Smith / Getty Images

Most people know from personal experience that teens (as well as young adults and others) tend to spend more time watching TV than they do observing the way in which they sit, stand, and walk (which makes up the bulk of their personal posture habits).

This shows up as a comfortable sinking down into the couch for up to several hours at a stretch.

But such a habit can do damage to your neck and/or back in the long run. The teens in the image above may be altering the normal and desirable lordosis in these areas by training—in a sense—the spinal curves to flatten and also by cultivating muscle tension and/or weakness.


Identify Your Posture Habits

A teen on stairs displays slouching and poor posture.
Petrified Collection/Getty Images

It's quite often easier and more comfortable to assume a posture that's bad for you than it is to set yourself up properly and maintain a balanced, supportive position for the duration of the activity in which you engage.

One of the first things to do to get good posture is to know what's going on in your spine when performing your usual activities. Take the woman in the picture above, for example. Based on her positioning, she's missing out on an important opportunity to support her body. Instead of sitting upright on her pelvis, she's got a criss-cross pattern going. Her weight is supported on the back of her pelvis, on her right elbow, and also on her left mid-back area. This is not very balanced and it will likely cause her to rely on muscle tension to keep the position, when, sadly, well-aligned bones would do a better job of it.


Perk up Your Posture

Posture comparison illustration
wetcake / Getty Images

You may be wondering what to do when your posture needs perking up. Here's a short list for developing basic good posture skills:

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Yang L, Lu X, Yan B, Huang Y. Prevalence of incorrect posture among children and adolescents: finding from a large population-based study in china. iScience. 2020;23(5):101043. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2020.101043

  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Lordosis - lumbar.

  3. U.S. Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Guide to Good Posture.

  4. Bayattork M, Sköld MB, Sundstrup E, et al. Exercise interventions to improve postural malalignments in head, neck, and trunk among adolescents, adults, and older people: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Exerc Rehabil. 2020;16(1):36-48. doi: 10.12965/jer.2040034.017

By Anne Asher, CPT
Anne Asher, ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, and orthopedic exercise specialist, is a back and neck pain expert.