Can Peer Pressure Really Improve Posture?

Multi-Ethnic Group of People Working Together

If your Starbucks looks anything like mine, I’d bet money that at any given time there are at least a dozen people hunched & crunched over their laptops and devices.  And I would bet even more money that at any given time, offices around the world have scores and scores of folks sitting in any number of ways that distorts their posture and puts their bodies in harm’s way.

I call this negative peer pressure.  Think about it.  If everywhere we turn, we see people crouched over, slumped in their chairs, and turning themselves into human pretzels, then really, how bad can it be?

Back painWell, pretty bad.  In fact, according to OSHA, back injuries are the nation’s number one safety problem.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses.  The National Institute of Neurological Disorders, states that back pain is the most common reason for missed work days and is t the second most common neurological ailment in the United States next to head aches.   Clearly, we have a problem.

But what if we can turn this around and practice positive peer pressure to motivate each other to make simple changes to improve our posture?   I recently worked with a client who literally ran into the bathroom several times a day to do her back stretches!  Why?  “I’d die of embarrassment if my co-workers say me.”

I gently encouraged her to be a leader in her office and instead of hiding her stretches, invite others to join in.

2014-05-08 14.51.03What if we each challenged ourselves to pay attention to how we sit and stand, use simple accessories such as laptop risers, external keyboards and mice, tablet stands, a stylus, back rest and whatever else we can easily make part of our daily routines?

When I go to Starbucks with my portable lapboard or laptop riser and external keyboard and mouse, without fail, EVERY SINGLE TIME, people come up to me and ask me where they can get these things.

So why not help yourself look and feel better by minding your posture and while you are at it, helping others too!

Leave a comment and share at least one way that you can influence others around you (and yourself of course) to improve your posture and take care of your back.

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 10.34.01 PMUntil the next time!



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