The result of spending countless hours sitting at desks will not be pretty when you are not aware of your posture.
Prolonged periods of poor posture may show some initial signs like neck and back pain, headaches, respiratory issues, and more, but they also have significant long-term effects on our bodies.
Some long term effects of bad posture include chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain, spinal, and digestive problems, circulation issues, and negative impacts on mental health. You might ignore them initially, but soon they will turn to an alarming level that you can’t ignore.
Recognizing these long-term effects as soon as possible can prevent you from serious health hazards. Therefore, let’s know about the potential effects and ways to prevent them.
Long Term Effects Of Bad Posture: Some Alarming Indications
While back and neck pain are common due to bad posture, you may face something more serious if you don’t correct your posture in time. Some of the alarming problems that occur include:
1. Spinal Misalignment
A study investigated the impact of forward head posture on spinal alignment.
The researchers discovered that individuals with forward head postures had a higher prevalence of abnormal cervical lordosis and increased thoracic kyphosis.
Constantly remaining in a poor posture can lead to spinal misalignment. This means, your vertebrae in the spine will be misaligned due to slouching or hunching. This results in problems like kyphosis, and lordosis.
Both kyphosis and lordosis can have a substantial effect on spinal health. The abnormal pressure on the spine can also lead to further complications.
Such complications include the potential risk of herniated discs, nerve impingement, and chronic pain.
2. Musculoskeletal Issues
Your musculoskeletal system can be seriously disrupted due to prolonged bad posture. This will interrupt your daily activities and cause chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Excessive strain on the muscles, ligaments, and joints due to a bad posture leads to musculoskeletal discomfort and potential injuries.
Your back muscles are more prone to face the effects of bad posture. When the natural alignment of the spine is disrupted, the increased stress and muscle strains put the lower back in a dangerous position.
This eventually results in persistent pain and limited mobility.
3. Reduced Flexibility
You will struggle to move your body freely when your posture has been poor for a long time. The limited flexibility results in further issues that make it hard for individuals to perform daily activities.
Over time, your muscles will get stiffer whereby you cannot take part in activities like running or cycling. As a result, your overall physical performance may be compromised.
When you consistently maintain poor posture, certain muscles become tight while others become weak. Moreover, reduced flexibility can increase the risk of injuries.
4. Digestive Issues
People who have years of poor posture are often seen to struggle with proper digestion. As slouching or hunching forward compresses the abdominal organs, this can result in several digestive problems over the long term.
Poor posture often causes acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Due to the slouched position, the stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus.
Thus, you will face heartburn, chest pain, and a sour taste in the mouth.
It can even lead to constipation. Your bowel movements will be disturbed due to the misalignment. Thus, it slows down the movement of food through the intestines.
5. Circulation Problems
Another serious issue that you will face due to poor posture is circulation problems. The muscles and organ compressions result in compressed blood vessels and disturb the proper blood flow.
Over time, you will face swollen feet and ankles due to the constricted blood flow. You may even experience blood clots, known as Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) due to poor posture.
Poor posture also reduces the amount of oxygen in the brain which increases your stress level. You’ll feel a lack of energy in your daily tasks, which can negatively impact your function and overall health.
Common Symptoms Of Poor Posture
If you are not sure whether you have poor posture or not, you should look for some signs.
Initially, you will feel frequent discomfort or pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. This especially occurs when slouching or hunching forward.
Another sign to look for is recurring tension headaches and migraines. You will also feel less energetic than usual. Poor posture often leaves you unmotivated and you will lack productivity.
Moreover, the wrong posture will make it hard for you to move or perform certain activities that require flexibility.
The most common signs are a rounded shoulder posture and a hunched upper back, altering the natural curvature of the spine.
How To Prevent Long-Term Effects Of Bad Posture?
If you want to prevent the long-term health hazards that your bad posture may cause, it’s time to rely on some precautions. Regular exercises and consistent stretching will prevent the development of poor posture.
Moreover, make proper adjustments in your workspace using sitting or standing desks and furniture that provides adequate support.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long can it take to fix bad posture?
It takes 3-4 weeks to see a visible change in your posture once you have started to take the necessary steps. With regular exercises and stretching, you can fix your posture within 3-4 months.
Can bad posture be irreversible?
No, it is not irreversible. You can easily fix your posture anytime you want. When you are aware of your posture, your body will create a habit of being in the right posture.
Why are my shoulders so curved?
With prolonged periods of being in a poor posture, your shoulders get rounded and curved. You need to stop slouching and get your body in the upright position to prevent a curved shoulder.
Can good posture change your life?
Good posture can affect your health and well-being while leading you to a better life. The improvement in your lifestyle and health will be visible if you maintain a healthy posture.
If you don’t take the long term effects of bad posture seriously, you’ll struggle with severe health issues which will disrupt your well-being.
It's high time to consider your health and fix your posture. You can also use posture-correcting devices, such as braces to fix your posture fast.