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What Is a Posture Pillow?

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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2014
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A posture pillow is a supportive cushion used to help hold the back in good posture position, with shoulders back and the base of the back slightly curved. These pillows are usually made out of polyurethane foam, polyester fiberfill, or inflated with air for travel. Posture pillows are primarily used when working at a desk, sitting in a car, or sleeping. Slouching can place stress on the back bones, compress the discs or cushion between the back bones, pinch the nerves of the back, create tension in the back, and occasionally cause tension headaches. Maintaining good posture with a posture pillow prevents these issues.

Desk chair and car seat posture pillows come in two types and both typically have a strap to attach the posture pillow to the chair or car seat. This type of posture pillow is square shaped and beveled, or thicker at the edges and thin at the center, creating a groove in which the back can be supported. This type of pillow is usually about 13 inches by 16 inches (about 33 by 41 cm) and is between 3 to 5 inches (about 8 to 13 cm) at its thickest point. The second type of posture pillow is a small thin cushion that is flat on the side which rests against the chair, and rounded on the edge placed against the back. This pillow is placed at the base of the back to provide greater support for the lower back which curves gently inward.

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Sleep posture pillows are made for either side or back sleeping, and both styles help to maintain proper posture at night in order to relieve tension created in the back during the day, strengthen good posture, help prevent snoring, and promote good sleep. The side-sleeping posture pillow is U-shaped, with one side of the ā€œUā€ longer than the other. While sleeping, the curved part of the posture pillow is placed under the head to support the neck, the shorter arm of the pillow supports the face and the longer arm of the pillow runs down the back to support the spine. These types of pillows are approximately 16 by 23 inches (about 41 by 58 cm), and they are usually 5 inches (13 cm) thick.

The back-sleeping posture pillow is square shaped with a groove cut out for the neck and a bowl shape carved out for the head. These pillows cradle the neck and head in a position which properly aligns the spine. Back sleeping posture pillows are about 11 by 15 inches or (28 by 38 cm).

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