Our society has a chronic problem with posture. Many of us spend our days hunched over a keyboard, putting strain on our necks and causing tension in our shoulders and upper back. We relax at night by sitting in a reclined position on the couch, phone in hand.
Even those of us who are more active throughout the day can fall into a routine of standing with rounded shoulders instead of standing up straight like we know we should. Being slouched is often more comfortable because it requires fewer muscles. Unfortunately, poor posture can make you look unconfident. It can also cause health problems that impact other aspects of your life.
Health Effects of Bad Posture
Here are five surprising ways that poor posture can negatively affect your health.
1. Digestive Troubles
Slouching adds pressure to the abdomen, which can trigger acid reflux after you eat. This results in uncomfortable heartburn and can even impact the intestines, causing constipation and a loss of appetite. Make a point to stand or sit up straight after meals to aid digestion. Going for a walk after eating can also help.
Slouching adds pressure on to your neck, which can lead to tension headaches. If you frequently find yourself with a headache, it could be due to poor posture when you are sitting at your desk.
3. Breathing efficacy
Slouching puts extra pressure on your lungs, which can negatively affect how much oxygen you are able to take in with every breath. Over time, this can cause problems throughout your body because every cell in your body requires oxygen to do its job.
Many women suffer from incontinence after pregnancy or reproductive surgery. Adding poor posture can make it even worse. The extra pressure placed on your abdomen when you slouch also adds pressure to your bladder. This can decrease the strength of your pelvic floor muscles and make it more likely that you leak a little urine when you sneeze or laugh.
5. Back pain
Bad posture can weaken the muscles in your back, causing pain in your upper and lower back as well as your shoulders. Unfortunately, when we feel pain in our backs, we usually respond by sitting, slouching, or lying down, which only exacerbates the problem. Even though standing up straight doesn’t sound appealing when your back hurts, it’s essential if you want to ease your back pain.
Improve Your Posture Through Stretching
You can’t fix bad posture overnight. Correcting chronic poor posture takes time and a focused effort on strengthening the muscles in your body. Your core, shoulders, and back muscles can all be strengthened so that they can effectively support your body.
Frequent stretching can help you improve your posture so you can move more efficiently and feel better. It can also ease muscle soreness and tension in your lower back, which can help you sit and stand tall once again.
If you have been dealing with any of the above effects of bad posture, we can help! Schedule an appointment with the StretchSPOT to get started!