Stand Tall: The Dangers of Slouching and How to Fix It

As a physical therapist, I read the article “Is Sitting the New Smoking?” with great interest. The article discusses the negative impact of prolonged sitting on our health, and the importance of taking breaks and staying active throughout the day.

  • Over 25% of American adults sit for more than 8 hours every day. 44% of those people get little to no exercise.
  • The average American watches approximately 3 hours of television every day.
  • The average American is active less than 20 minutes every day.
  • 60-75 minutes of moderate activity (steady walking) can counter the effects of too much sitting.

The article highlights how sitting for long periods of time can lead to a host of health problems, such as poor circulation, weakened muscles, and an increased risk of developing chronic diseases. 

  • 112% increased risk of diabetes.
  • 147% increased risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.
  • 90% increased risk of death from cardiovascular events.
  • 49% increased risk of death from any cause

As physical therapists, we often work with patients who experience the negative effects of prolonged sitting, such as lower back pain, neck pain, and poor posture. Common language around neck pain in other articles I have seen are.

“Pandemic posture”

“Text Neck syndrome”

“Hunch Back”

Do you notice you are developing a hunch at the upper back right at the base of your neck?

  • Dowager’s hump is a condition characterized by a curvature in the upper spine that leads to a rounded appearance of the back.
  • This condition is most commonly seen in older women, hence the name “Dowager’s hump”.
  • Spending long hours sitting, hunching over devices, and carrying heavy bags can all contribute to this condition.
  • Exercises that target the muscles in the upper back and neck can help to reduce the curvature of the spine and improve posture.

  • Stretching exercises, such as chin tucks and doorway stretches, can help to improve mobility and reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.
  • Strengthening exercises can help to build the muscles in the upper back and improve posture.

  • In addition to exercise, lifestyle changes such as taking frequent breaks from sitting and using supportive pillows can help to prevent and treat Dowager’s hump.
  • If you are experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of Dowager’s hump, it is important to seek the guidance of a physical therapist or other healthcare provider.
  • By incorporating exercise and lifestyle changes into your routine, it is possible to improve posture and reduce the appearance of Dowager’s hump for good.



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