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(MCT)—In honor of mothers everywhere, Sunday, Oct. 16, has been designated Don’t Slouch Day.

Well, technically, it’s National Spinal Health Day, but if we had listened to our mothers when they told us not to slouch, there probably would be less need for a day devoted to education about back pain.

Poor posture puts stress on the spine, which can lead to all sorts of neck, back and hip problems.

But the benefits of standing straight go beyond that. In January, Northwestern University released a study which found that job-seekers with good posture fare better than those who slouch. And in case it’s not a job you’re looking for, the same pattern proved true for people trying to get a date.

BackJoy, a company that sells back orthotics, offers these tips for a healthier back:
• Strengthen core muscles through yoga or Pilates or exercises such as ab crunches, bridges, planks and back extensions.
• Use pelvis and back supports to reduce slouching when sitting.
• Consider posture education courses. Correcting bad posture requires a conscious act initially, but adopting new habits can make proper posture automatic.
• Make your mother proud. (OK, that wasn’t really one of the tips, but it could be the outcome.)

©2011 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

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