Posture & Computer Ergonomics – May 2002

Taking Control of Your Health

The Stern Chiropractic Newsletter

Referral Corner:
The Greatest Compliment my Patients Can Give is the Referral of Their Friends and Loved Ones. Thank You For Your Trust. This month, I would like to thank the following people for their trust: Dr. Debbie Stern, Dr. David Kanarek and The Singer Family.

Charity Corner:
Stern Chiropractic is collecting donations for The Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research. A matching contribution will be made by Stern Chiropractic (certain restrictions apply). Please join me in helping fund research that will help convince your insurance company to increase your chiropractic coverage.


May is National Posture Month. I hope this newsletter will help you understand why good posture is so very important.

“Don’t Slouch”. “Stand-up straight”. “Pull your shoulders back”. We have all heard these things before and, you know what, they were right. Good posture is vital to proper spinal health and can truly make a big difference in how you feel each day. Before I explain why good posture is important, try this simple test. For one day, try to keep your shoulders pulled back and down, your head directly over the rest of your body (not out in front of you with your chin jutting forward) and sit-up straight at your desk and in your car. I guarantee that you will feel healthier, more energized and that you will make a much better first impression on the people you meet.

Who Should Be Concerned With Posture?



Everybody from school age children up should be concerned with posture.

When Should I Start To Think About My Posture?

NOW! The best time to start maintaining good posture is as a child. Good habits follow you through life and, as you will read later in this letter, this good habit will have substantial benefits to your health. It is never too late to improve your posture. No matter how late in life you start, there will always be some benefit from good posture.

Why Should I Care About My Posture?

The old saying “If you keep making that face, it will get stuck like that” applies here. Your body adapts to your posture and over time will alter its normal position and function in accordance with your posture. If you sit all day, every day at your computer with your shoulders rolled forward, your head protruding forward and your low back rounded (opposite of its normal curve), over time, you will have weakening of certain postural muscles and tightening of others, causing your posture to degrade. Eventually, you turn into that stereotyped elderly person who slowly walks down the street with a cane, hunched over with his/her head tilted all the way back and chin jutting forward.

In addition to this lovely picture I just painted for you, your health is also greatly affected by poor posture. By having a more upright posture you have much greater lung capacity, you have greater range of motion and your muscles are better able to function at their maximum strength. Poor posture will eventually cause decreased range of motion, less then maximum performance of your muscles, impaired nerve flow and early degeneration of your joints.

What Can I Do To Correct My Posture?

1. Always keep the thought of good posture in the back of your mind.

2. Take a few minute break each hour to get up and stretch. Fatigue is one of the major causes of poor posture. (Note: I will show those who come in for their free posture analysis some good stretches for the tight postural muscles).

3. When reading and studying, place your books in a book stand instead of flat on your desk.

4. Backpacks should be worn over both shoulders, should fit correctly and should not exceed 5-10% of your body weight.

5. Have proper lumbar support in your chairs and automobiles.

6. Use a good orthopedic pillow for sleeping at night (Ask me about the Therapeutica Pillow).Good Posture is vital for Good Health

7. Make sure your work area is ergonomically correct for you. You should have a good chair with the proper support. Your feet should sit flat on the floor with your knees at 90-120° angle. The top of the computer screen should be at or below eye level. There should be two inches between the front edge of the chair and the back of the knee. Your elbow should rest within a 70-130° angle to the computer keyboard. There should be adequate light.

8. If a child is using an adult work area, provide proper modifications to accommodate the recommendations above i.e. a stool or box can be used so the feet rest flat with proper knee angle.

9. Stretch and exercise daily.

10. Drink water instead of coffee and soda.

11. Eat properly and take a good multi-vitamin with extra anti-oxidants.

During the month of May, I am offering FREE posture evaluations to all callers who book their evaluation by May 10th. Call today to make your appointment.

Products of the Month : Sitback Rest Lumbar Cushion & The Page Boy Book Stand

Sitback Rests are low back support cushions for your chairs and your car. Proper low back support is vital to good posture and you should have this support in any and all chairs that you sit in for extended periods of time. These cushions come in gray, navy and black and fit all chairs. They are portable and can be taken with you when you travel. Come to my office and sit in one of the chairs with a sitback rest, you will notice the difference immediately. Special pricing is available on bulk/group sales.

Do your child/children a favor and get them a book stand for when they study. Help reduce their visual and postural strain from awkward sitting positions, and promote healthy and efficient reading and study habits. This light- weight and very portable book stand has wide swinging arms to hold small and large books, magazines and even newspapers.

Special discounts have been applied to these products for this month only.

Both of these products offer a very affordable way to start your children and yourself on the path toward good posture.

I hope this information helps you take control of your health and your life! If you have any questions, feedback or have any suggestions for future topics, please call or email me.

If you know someone who would be interested in receiving this newsletter, if you would like to receive this newsletter via email, or if you would prefer to no longer receive this newsletter, please let me know.

Don’t forget the importance of maintaining your health with regular chiropractic and acupuncture care.


Gregg Stern, D.C., FICPA