“Don’t slouch, sit up straight!”
“Keep your shoulders back.”
“Mind your posture!”
These are only a few of the things we’ve always heard concerning our posture. When we were little, these were just some things our parents liked to repeat. But now that we’re older, we understand just how important they really are.
Bad posture doesn’t just make us look tired and weak, but it also affects our bodies and our minds more than we can imagine. In fact, it can be considered an epidemic because it really does affect millions of individuals around the world.(image via verywellhealth.com)
What Does Bad Posture Look Like?
There are different kinds of bad postures and they’re all very harmful for you.
- Round shoulders: This is caused by the bad habit of leaning or slouching forwards while you’re in a seated position. After a while, this kind of posture can cause round shoulders, and trust me, this is not how you want to look.
- Anterior pelvic tilt: This is caused by extreme sedentarism and it makes the hip flexors shorter and the hip extensors weak.
(image via alpinespinalrehab.com)
- Humpback: This is probably the most common one and it’s caused by really bad habits, such as bowing your head down as you walk, failing to sit up straight, etc.
Bad posture can cause continuous back pain that gets more intense at certain times of the day, it can also cause pain from your neck to your upper or lower back, sudden back pain when you try new chairs, and back pain that subsides as soon as you correct your posture.
In short, bad posture causes constant pain and they only way to correct this is being mindful of yourself and the way you position yourself. This is especially vital if your work is on the sedentary side of the spectrum.
- It Transforms Your Spine
Bad posture transforms your spine’s alignment and it puts pressure in areas where it shouldn’t be. It’s true that the natural, healthy spine has a bit of a curve, but if you spend years practicing bad posture habits, this natural curve will be gone.
Bad posture is so harmful that it can cause excessive strain, which can cause your discs to weaken and compress, eroding your vertebrae. This can lead to pain and discomfort, but it can also affect your height by shortening it and your ability to absorb shock and maintain balance.(image via wexnermedical.osu.edu)
- It Heightens Depression and Stress
A study conducted in San Francisco State University has shown that participants who slouched while they walked experienced more depressing and stress than their counterparts who skipped instead. Another study at Harvard University showed that your posture, the way you carry yourself, can affect the way you feel.(image via kobuchi.com)
- It Can Cause Digestive Issues
That’s right! Bad posture affects your inner organs as well as your spine. When you slump over, your intestines get constricted which can make digestion uncomfortable and cause hernias and acid reflux. Bad posture can also affect your metabolism, which can make you gain a lot of extra weight.
- It Causes Pain
If your body is not properly aligned, it will definitely affect your mood and it will cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Bad posture is the main cause of chronic back pain and disc degeneration. This is because bad posture puts a lot of strain on your bones, your back muscles, hips, shoulders, neck, and more.(image via ibsguides.com)
- It Can Lead To Heart And Lung Issues
Slouching doesn’t only affect your digestive system, but also your heart and lungs. An Australian study showed that people who slump over their desks have a shorter life expectancy and a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease. This can be due to the fact that bad posture restricts blow and oxygen flow.
How Can I Improve My Posture?
- Make Your Back Muscles Stronger
Being more conscious about your posture is a great way to start correcting it, but you should also work on strengthening your back muscles. This way it will be easier to stand and sit straight. To do this, you can squat with weights, do lunges, shoulder rolls, and other exercises that target your back.(image via fitnessqualified.com)
- Train Yourself To Maintain A Good Posture
Good posture doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Luckily, you can train yourself! Give Unigear’s Back Brace Posture Corrector a chance. This posture corrector supports your upper back and your shoulders as well as your lower back to help you align your spine and muscles. The brace is light and breathable, and it’s designed to help you correct your posture and get rid of pain and discomfort.
- Stay On Your Feet A Lot More
It’s easier to practice good posture when you’re on your feet, so try to stand a lot more often. If your job is linked to a desk, then take as many breaks as you can to stand up and walk around for a few minutes.
- Adjust Your Seats
Bad posture comes easily when you’re sitting, so in order to prevent yourself from adopting a bad position, use the right chairs and adjust them. Doing this will help you keep your posture straight while you’re sitting at your desk. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in an ergonomic chair and also in an ergonomic keyboard, mouse, the works. Make sure that your car seat and headrests are also properly aligned.
- Stretch More Often
As we’ve learned so far, bad posture will affect your body, both inside and out. Bad posture shortens not only your spine, but also your muscles, which is why you should stretch more often. Stretching will help you lengthen your muscles and it will allow you to keep your body open so that your organs get the oxygen they need to work properly.
(image via lumesse.com)
Your body is your temple and your greatest asset, so it’s your responsibility to make sure that you keep it aligned and healthy!