Does Backpacking Hurt or Help My Posture?

A link between posture and backpacking has been discussed in the medical community but never, as far I know, has it been really studied.
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A link between posture and backpacking has been discussed in the medical community but never, as far I know, has it been really studied.

Question:

I have been an avid backpacker for most of my life, and now that I'm getting up there in age I'm noticing my posture getting poorer. Does backpacking contribute to this? And do products like the posture girdle straps I've seen online help—or do the muscles and bones require more support than that? Is this a job for the chiropractor?

Submitted by - Tony

Answer:

A link between posture and backpacking has been discussed in the medical community but never, as far I know, has it been really studied.

Just about everybody sees some decline in posture as the years mount. I suspect that if we pack too much weight, especially if the center of gravity is too high and/or too far away from our spine, we might speed the arrival of poor posture.

On the other hand, a well-balanced pack might actually improve posture. You might consider a girdle strap if your back is bothering you—even if it isn’t, the strap won’t hurt. And, finally, I’ve been getting chiropractic adjustments. I believe they help me , but that’s anecdotal evidence, inadmissible in court.