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I'm 50 and I've always struggled with bad posture, although I've never really had any negative symptoms other than looking bad. But I know that posture and core strength are supposed to be important as you age, and so I'm trying to improve this.

So I'm paying attention to standing up straight and got a decent office chair and things like that. Now I find that my lower back aches, but I'm not sure if this is because I'm doing something wrong (which I need to change), or because I'm suddenly requiring my back muscles to do work they've never done before (which I need to tolerate until I get stronger).

How can I tell the difference?

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Making your self sit or stand straight is not a way to fix your posture. This is probably what could cause your back pains. The body is used to a lot if we create bad habits and you can't just fix them by trying to stand straight. I would suggest to include some exercises to strengthen your core. Abs, shoulders, chests, lower back, etc. When I first started going to the gym I was obsessed with doing chest and back workouts that I usually skipped abs and lower back muscles. This leads to lower back injuries since these group muscles are important in holding your torso and fixing your spine. My doctor told me about this and I could correct it in time. While many guys suffer from this and as a result they get a lot of pain in the lower back.

To fix your posture - exercise. Don't just stand straight and that's it, you need some activity to strengthen your muscle groups. This doesn't mean you need to go to the gym everyday and lift heavy weights, it means you need some sort of activity in your everyday life. You can do a lot of exercises at home to strengthen your chest, abs, lower back, and other muscle groups.

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  • That makes sense, but I think I'm still supposed to be practicing good posture, such as sitting up straight. If sitting up straight is making my back ache, does that mean that I shouldn't do it, until such time as exercise builds up my lower back sufficiently? – Joshua Frank Jan 11 at 17:11
  • What I learned and what a bunch of professionals told me is that not everybody is the same and not every posture is right for everyone. Of course, it's bad if you lean too much forward or something like that but this is not fixable with only forcing yourself to sit straight. This needs muscles to fixate your new posture. Let's say that, as I had, shoulders moved to the front and to the inner torso. This was fixed with training chest and shoulder muscles because they helped to fixate the shoulders in the proper position. – SlothCoding Jan 11 at 18:55

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