Studies have shown that poor posture can lead to all sorts of health issues, even headaches. When most people vow to improve their overall health, they never really think about improving their posture. They often associate their backaches or low energy to lack or exercise, or even a bad mattress, but the real culprit could be something far simpler.
Here are just a few ways that slouching and slumping could be wreaking havoc on your health.
Shoulder and Back Pain: Poor posture can lead to shoulder and back pain. In severe cases, you would need to see a doctor to address the issue, but most people have lived with this “discomfort” for so long that they don’t even notice it. That nagging twinge that you have in your shoulder, or that shooting pain in your back that comes and goes every so often, can very well be due to poor posture misaligning your spine.
Headache and Facial Pain: When you sit slumped over your computer or slouched down on the couch, you’re more likely to clench your jaw. Tightening and clenching these muscles can lead to jaw pain and headaches. To avoid this, try sitting at the edge of your chair when you’re working at the desk. When you’re on the couch, put a pillow behind your back to help you sit up straight.
Low Energy: Studies have shown that people who slouch have less energy than those who sit and stand up straight. This occurs because poor posture puts more of a strain on your muscles and joints. If you’re already overweight to start with, this doubles the strain on your joints, which causes your body to use more energy for simple tasks. Even if you’re not overweight, the strain can be too much for your body.
Depression: According to studies, poor posture contributes to sadness, depression, and lack of confidence. Participants who sat upright during the experiment displayed positive emotions, and had an increased rate of speech. Participants who slouched showed less confidence and seemed overall less cheerful than the other group.
Constipation: Slouching affects your digestive health. When your colon and other digestive organs are compressed, they do not function properly. This can lead to discomfort and constipation, both of which you want to avoid at all costs. If you’re confined to an office chair for hours on end, make sure you take time each hour to stand up straight and stretch. This is a great way to help combat the effects on your digestive system from sitting and slouching all day.
Tips to Improve Your Posture
Get Moving: Spend some time being active, especially if you sit all day – this gets your body out of that slouchy position and helps keep you aligned and moving (which our bodies are designed to do).
Practice Pilates or Yoga: these exercises help keep you aligned and will improve your overall posture and muscle strength.
Sit at the edge of your chair when working at your desk, this forces you to sit up straight. Put a sign up around your desk or set a reminder on your phone to help you remember how to sit.
It’s easy to forget to practice good posture, especially if you’ve slouched and slumped for years. You rarely ever hear about the effects that poor posture has on your health, so it’s easy for it to become an afterthought. These are just a few of the negative health effects that slumping has on your body, but the good news is, it’s easy to do something about it.