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The Secret to Unlocking Your 'Perfect' Posture

The Secret to Unlocking Your 'Perfect' Posture

Do you sit up straight, shoulders back, head up, in pursuit of one seemingly perfect spinal posture? Let’s deconstruct a popular misconception.

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The perfect posture is a rainbow unicorn.

The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word posture quite beautifully as, “The relative position of parts, (especially) of the body”. 

Simply, it’s how you arrange your bones in any given position.

Physiotherapist Ellie Parnell says we are all perfectly imperfect. 

“That there’s one kind of ideal posture is a bit of a myth – your posture changes all the time, everyone’s spine is different, and your habits aren’t inherently wrong,” she says.  

Your ideal posture is a way of holding your body that feels comfortable for you. 

“However, issues begin if you stay too long in a certain position – an upright spine, held for 2 hours, can bring on pain and discomfort, as can hunching forward with tech-neck.”

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So what, then, is the key to unlocking healthy posture?

Regular movement!

Ellie, who is the founder of Glide Clinical Pilates, and one of our senior instructors at Aleenta, says our spines have dynamic vertebral joints for a reason. 

“You’re made to move, designed to bend and extend and twist!” she says. 

“If you don’t move, blood flow to your muscles and around your intervertebral discs is restricted and you start to get that hypoxic ache.”

It’s no secret that humans these days are less about tree-climbing, hunting and gathering, and more about Olympic desk-sitting and Tik Tok, which your spine is not stoked with. 

We’re not taking aim at office work or looking at screens (you’re probably absorbing this blog from your device and we love that). 

The problemo is that the lack of mindful and incidental movement variation in this way of life contributes to a surge in peeps living with chronic health issues, including back pain (i). 

Set a timer.

Mindful micro-movement every 20-30 minutes, whether in the office or at home, improves circulation for back pain relief, to alleviate postural tension and strain, and keep those joints healthy.

“Prevention is better than cure,” says Ellie, “and regular targeted exercise, like Pilates, strengthens your spine to help you feel at ease in your body.”

Sidebar: the micro-movement reset is good for your brain and focus, too!

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So why are we obsessed with posture?

It’s a vibe. The idea of a nicely arranged physique being pleasing to look at has been around for centuries (remember those stories of young women walking corridors, books stacked precariously on their heads?)

But there’s also this: about 80% of Australians report lower back pain at some point in their lives (ii). Think on that for a sec. It’s not pretty, and recovery or management can last a very, very long time. 

Ellie says, in this way, our fixation with correcting or perfecting posture comes from a well-meaning place. 

“It’s a response to some very real concerns,” she says. “But maybe we reframe ‘perfect’.”

Well, the very first definition of the word perfect is “complete”, which you already are, so maybe we lift the idea of perfection from something we’re reaching for, and brush it onto what we already have.



(i) Huo, M. et al. (2023). Association between physical activity, sedentary behaviour and the trajectory of low back pain. The Spine Journal, 23(7), 1037-1044. (

(ii) Health Direct. (2023, April). Back Pain. Health Direct Australia.,some%20time%20in%20their%20lives.

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