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Is Slouching REALLY Healthy?


How the Press Misreported a Major Research Study

Slouching is NOT Healthy as is Claimed by Recent Headlines

Scottish Researcher Clarifies Findings


San Diego, CA Feb 14, 2007 An MRI study, originally presented in November 2006, has been greatly misrepresented by many US press reports. In fact, the press headlines' claim that "slouching is healthy" is unambiguously contradicted by the self-same MRI study.

Lead researcher, Dr. Bashir, clarified the research conclusions to doctors at the recent American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in San Diego. "You have to try and open up the angle between your body and your legs, that’s what’s important. That doesn’t mean you slouch, that’s not good for your back either," Bashir said. "The more acute the angle between your body and your legs, the more pressure it puts on your back discs because you’re bending forwards [compressing your discs]. The worst position of all is the forward bending, the hunched over the keyboard position."

Dr. Bashir and fellow researchers from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, reached their conclusions by measuring spinal angles, disk height and movements for three common sitting positions: hunched forward, upright at 90 degrees and slightly reclined back at 135 degrees. Their MRI images prove with hard facts what ergonomists and other back specialists have long-believed: the most relaxed position for the spine is one that opens the angle between the body and legs. Disc pressure increases as one moves through a 90 degree to a hunched forward position. The worst back strain occurs while slouching forward.

Slouching toward misunderstanding
US reporters can be forgiven for not knowing that "slouch" has a different connotation in the UK than the US. In the US, "slouch" most commonly denotes the mis-formation of the spine caused by slumping forward out of an upright posture. Not so in the UK. If "slouch" were used to denote posture in the UK, an image of someone lazily reclined back at 135 degrees is imagined rather than someone slumping forward at work. This, because in the UK "slouch" primarily means someone who is lazy, a loaf, a slacker.

Cut-and-paste press
The Times (London) was among the first to report on results of the study in November. Its headline: Slouch. It's the Safest Way to Sit was truthful enough from the perspective that slouch means recline back against your chair back. But the truth gets lost in translation to US English.
Article after article has been printed in the US mimicking The Times' Slouch headline often amplified by the catchy "Mom's wrong" theme. Take for example this headline: Study: Slouching Better for Back Than Sitting Up Straight; or this from USA Today: Study: Mom's wrong, Slouching is good for you.
These headlines mislead the reader into imagining that slumping forward is better than sitting up straight. But the truth is--and it won't surprise Mom--amongst the three sitting positions studied, slouching forward over your work has been proven most damaging to your discs. The unfortunate result of recent media reporting for US news consumers is the utter distortion of the study's conclusions and worse, the encouragement of habits long proven dangerous to public health.

Now the good news--a solution: Wear your chair!
For the past two decades, Nada-Chair has been distributing back supports that use reverse pressure from your shins to stabilize the pelvis and low back. The result? The normal curve in the low spine is restored while maintaining a 90 degree upright posture. And since no muscles are required, this perfect posture comes without pain. New MRI research is presently underway that will test Nada-Chair's claims that the normal shape of the discs are also restored. Until this study is reported, people will have to trust the experience of millions who have already found love at first sit. Try the Nada-Chair. You'll never look back.


Victor Toso
phone: 612-414-9215
Dr. Waseem Bashir, MRCP(UK), FRCR
phone: 780-407-6907


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