Was Mom right? 'You will be stuck that way if you continue to stay that way.'
You may not have realized that poor posture not only affects your shape and appearance but also impacts your health.
You may have yet to give much thought to the reasons why your teachers and mom used to insist that you sit or stand in an upright position, and that's precisely what good posture entails.
The main reason for maintaining a properly aligned posture is that a poor sitting and standing position can cause more health problems than we may realize.
Before looking at the effects of poor posture, let's understand how to assess your posture.
It is recommended that you assess your posture before attempting any posture corrections.
To assess your posture, stand in front of a mirror and check the following angles, observing any areas where you may fall short.
If you find your posture deviated from the guidelines, it may be necessary to make corrections.
Anterior view (from the front)
Stand facing the mirror and assess if:
- The head is centered between the shoulders.
- There is a disparity in your shoulders.
- Your torso is squared (not rotated).
- The hips are level.
You can use the photo below to determine posture from this view. If you fail to meet any of the above criteria, there is a failure in your stance.
Lateral view (from the side)
In this view, you assess posture from the side.
- Check the alignment of the head and the body. The middle of the ear should be in line with the center of the shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, and elbow.
- Observe the neck and view the upper back for a gentle "S" shape along with the lower back.
- Moreover, confirm that the pelvis is in a neutral position. Observing the lumbar area will help determine if it tilts forward or tucks backward.
8 Ways Bad Posture Can Harm Your Body | Effects of Bad Posture
If you notice poor posture in your body, you should correct it to overcome the harm it has on your body.
Here are some problems caused by bad posture that should be avoided through better corrective measures.
1. Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain
Poor posture may lead to tension in your neck, back, and shoulders. Bad posture keeps your body stuck in one position, causing fatigue and joint pains.
2. Poor Circulation
Fatigue due to poor posture can lead to the blockage of blood vessels, resulting in cardiac problems.
Blockage of blood vessels may even lead to heart disorders or even death. Therefore, proper posture management is essential.
3. Impaired Lung Function
Poor posture negatively affects the amount of air you breathe into your lungs. When there is insufficient air, your body tends to strain to take it in.
Insufficient air lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood, potentially causing organ failure.
4. Constricted Nerves
Prolonged poor posture can shift the neck bones and spine, causing them to come into contact with surrounding nerves.
As a result, the nerves can be pinched, leading to continuous back and neck pains. Moreover, the pain may radiate to other parts of the body, causing prolonged suffering.
5. Poor Digestion
Slouching the neck and shoulders compresses your lower abdomen, putting pressure on your digestive tract.
Any dysfunction in these organs may lead to improper functioning and poor digestion, altering overall body functioning.
Continual poor posture behavior results in poor absorption of food, potentially leading to dietary deficiencies.
6. Misaligned Spine
Bad posture disrupts the alignment of spine muscles and bones, affecting the overall activity and functioning of the body.
The spine's role in supporting the body is compromised, leading to an imbalance. Therefore, poor posture may damage your spine.
7. Spine Curvature
The upright spine is not completely straight. It has three curvatures in the human body, which are as follows:
- Upper to mid-back curvature
- Neck region curvature
- Lower-back spine curvature
Poor posture may affect the alignment of these curvatures, resulting in severe health problems that can affect body balance.
8. Headache and Jaw Pain
Leaning forward strains the neck muscles and jaw. Poor posture can put pressure on the jaws and lead to jaw problems.
This can cause pain and headache. Click here to learn more about the causes of headaches.
Related post: Can bad posture cause migraines
Correction of Bad Posture
Recognizing the harmful effects of poor posture on your body, it is important to take steps to remedy it. This can be achieved through proper correction methods, which may include:
1. Sitting and standing upright
Maintaining an upright position helps prevent the development of poor posture. Slouching is a major cause of bad posture.
Engaging in sit-ups helps to straighten your back muscles and flex your joints. This aids in aligning your spine and promoting proper posture.
Plank exercises are effective for strengthening back and shoulder muscles. They also contribute to overall muscle stretching, thereby facilitating good posture.
4. Concentration on your posture
It is important to be mindful of your standing and sitting positions. Regularly check and correct them when needed.
This habit helps in developing and maintaining proper posture, ensuring you stay on the right track.
5. Taking breaks
Remaining in one position for extended periods contributes to poor posture.
Therefore, it is advisable to vary your movements and take breaks from time to time. This allows your muscles to expand and contract evenly, promoting proper posture.
Strive to achieve the best possible posture and overcome the various problems associated with poor posture. Regular practice will also help you build muscle strength and improve your posture.
6. Use a posture support device
Wearing a posture corrector for 30 minutes to an hour a day in addition to posture exercises, can be helpful in getting rid of slouching habits and building stronger core muscles.