Diabetes: How Your Sitting Posture May Be Causing It

Diabetes: How Your Sitting Posture May Be Causing It

More than 10% of the entire US population has diabetes, with more than 20,000 kids being diagnosed every year.   The American Diabetes Associations says that 79 million adults have prediabetes with only 7% of them aware that they have it. This is one of the most common preventable diseases plaguing our society today. Although we have become more aware of its presence and knowledgeable about treatment options our focus lies primarily on diet and exercise.

Your posture could be affecting your liver.

However, there is an additional factor that may lead to diabetes. Your posture. Your posture habits and how you spend your day directly affect your posture, and in return your spine. If your spine is positioned incorrectly this can directly affect your liver. It has been shown in resent research that interference in the nerves innervating the liver and arteries of the liver can directly affect the livers function. Therefore if your spine is not in proper postural alignment it could be affecting the ability of the nerves to function properly.

The liver is innervated by sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves both controlling sensory and function. These nerves along with the sympathetic splanchnic nerves exit the spine between the vertebral levels of T5 –T12. This is right in the middle of your back, where most of the stress and pressure is placed from sitting incorrectly.

Research has shown that interference of the nerves decrease the function of the liver. As we lean or slouch forward while sitting we change the normal position of the spine, altering the spines ability to correctly protect these nerves. Over time the spine adapts and begins to compensate for this incorrect postural distortion pattern. When this happens the nerves that go to the liver are compromised. Even the smallest of pressure on one of these nerves can alter its function, and therefore alter the ability for the liver to function properly. The research findings have shown that disorders of the liver are likely to occur from interference of even a single nerve that supplies function to the liver.

If you have been previously diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes this is something that should be evaluated by a Postural Specialist. To check at home if you may be developing this postural distortion pattern stand with your back against a wall and with your heels touching the wall.   You should be able to easily touch your pelvis, mid back & shoulders, and your head against the wall with out having to force it. If you cannot easily do this, your spine may have started to develop a postural distortion pattern. To know for sure go to the AmericanPostureInstitute.com and request a Posture Diagnosis Online.

3 Posture Tips to help Prevent diabetes

Change your Habits

  • In addition to diet and exercise you must change your posture habits. Place a postural Reminder in the area you spend the most time. When you see this reminder, remember to sit up straight and maintain good posture.   Also take 20 second postural breaks though out your day.

Rehabilitate your posture muscles

  • Lean against a wall with your feet slightly away from the wall. While keeping your shoulders and pelvis against the wall, tuck your pelvis so that your back flattens against the wall. Then arch your pelvis so that your lower back arches away from the wall. Repeat this 5 times each day.

Align your spine

  • Do thoracic Traction to realign the curve in your spine. Lay on your back with a pillow or cushion under your mid back. Stay in this position for 5 – 10 minutes a day.

To find out what if you are developing postural distortion patterns get a Posture Diagnosis Online at the AmericanPostureInstitute.com. To contact Doctor Wade for more information on how your posture may be causing your health problems, how to stay healthy through proper posture, or for more ways to improve your posture email at: [email protected].


Written By:
Dr. Mark Wade DC, DrPH, CPE, CPEP
Certified Posture Expert
Doctor of Chiropractic
Doctor of Public Health
Founder of the American Posture Institute


  1. American Diabetes Association: http://professional.diabetes.org/admin/UserFiles/0%20-%20Sean/FastFacts%20March%202013.pdf
  1. Yi, C. X., la Fleur, S. E., Fliers, E., & Kalsbeek, A. (2010). The role of the autonomic nervous liver innervation in the control of energy metabolism. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1802(4), 416-431.
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