There’s no doubt a good posture looks much better than slouching with shoulders slumped over. However, you may not realize poor posture not only looks bad, but it can also have adverse effects on your overall health.
Mom was right. There are reasons why you were told to “stand up straight”.
Seven Effects of Bad Posture
1. Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain
Poor posture can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain. Poor posture causes you to slouch, leading to tension and pain in your upper back and shoulders. However, you also don’t want to “overcorrect” your posture by pulling your shoulders back too far as this could cause muscle tension, leading to stiffness.
2. Poor Circulation
If you’re sitting for hours each day in a chair with poor posture, you’re putting yourself at risk of developing or worsening circulation problems. By sitting with poor posture all day, you’re keeping your body from obtaining the necessary circulation it requires. Poor posture can also make you vulnerable to varicose veins.
3. Impaired Lung Function
Poor posture can affect the amount of air you’re taking into your lungs when breathing. Leaning or hunching forward all the time can negatively influence your lung function. When your lungs aren’t functioning as they should be, your brain, heart and other vital organs won’t get the oxygen they require. And, this could lead to shortness of breath, poor cognitive function and even heart and vascular disease.
4. Poor Digestion
If you have a desk job then you likely know how easy it is to slouch your shoulders and neck over your abdomen and chest. Even so, it’s important you do the best you can to straighten out your back. You compress your abdominal organs when you sit in a slouched position, including your digestive tract. Doing this can over time, negatively impact your metabolism and your ability to process foods properly, potentially resulting in a nutritional deficiency.
5. Constricted Nerves
The long-term impact of poor posture can cause your spine and other bones to shift their position. This is because your skeletal system starts coming into contact with your surrounding nerves, “pinching” them. The “pinched” nerves can not only lead to back and neck pain, but could also cause pain in other parts of your body.
6. Misaligned Spine
Bad posture can negatively impact your spine’s position. When you have proper alignment, you can easily feel posture throughout your musculoskeletal system. But, when if you perform most of your everyday activities with bad body mechanics or are stressed or injured in any way, you could end up with spinal misalignment and muscle spasm.
7. A Curvature of the Spine
An upright spine is not really straight. You have a few essential spinal curves which are one in your:
- Lower back
Bad posture can distort these natural curves of your spine, affecting your whole body and causing an array of issues.
Bonus: Headache and Jaw Pain
When you have poor posture, you might spend a great deal of time leaning forward, making it more likely you’ll clench your jaw. By clenching your jaw, you’re causing your facial muscles to tighten, resulting in jaw pain and headaches.
If you’re experiencing any of the above effects from poor posture, we can help. Contact BackFit Health + Spine by completing our online form or calling us at 1-877-BACKFIT.