Don’t slouch, sit properly…these are common comments every kid (and ironically most adults too) listen to every time he’s relaxing and watching his favorite cartoon film. But now probably every mom would end up telling her child ‘Dear why don’t you sit in a little more relaxed posture. It’s good for your back.’ Don’t look so astonished cause a study has actually gone ahead and proved it.

A new study suggests sitting up straight actually increases back pain.

Dr. Waseem Amir Bashir, a researcher from the University of Alberta Hospital said, “A 135-degree body-to-thigh sitting posture was demonstrated to be the best biomechanical sitting position, as opposed to a 90-degree posture most people consider normal.”

“We were not created to sit down for long hours, but somehow modern life requires the vast majority of the global population to work in a seated position.

“This made our search for the optimal sitting position all the more important.”

The study, carried out at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen, Scotland, involved 22 healthy volunteers who had no history of back pain or surgery. Bashir placed subjects into a positional MRI scanner, which lets patients be placed in various positions. Bashir measured slouching and upright body positions and the relaxed 135-degree posture with people’s feet still on the floor. The 135-degree posture is a reclined position.

Bashir found disk movement and discomfort were the least pronounced in the relaxed position.

“Sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness,” Bashir said.

According to Richard Rosedale, an occupational physiotherapist with London Health Science Centre, physiotherapists have recommended sitting without perfectly straight backs for years.

Rosedale recommended sitting with a natural hollow in your back, which can be accomplished by placing a roll in the lower back area.

“It’s good to get up and change positions throughout the day to flex and unflex the back muscles and balance things out,” Rosedale said.

According to Statistics Canada, back pain is the most common cause of worker compensation claims. It estimates between 70 and 85 per cent of Canadians will experience back pain in their lives.

Bashir said the 135-degree position could be the key to preventing back pain.

“Employers could reduce problems by providing their staff with more appropriate seating, thereby saving on the cost of lost work hours.”

The research was presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).