The Dangers of Bad Posture and How to Fix It
Remember your mama also telling you to stand or sit up straight, that a lady didn’t slouch? I’m sure we all do, but she told the same thing to our brothers as well, meaning that gentlemen don’t slouch either. She also said that it could affect your health. Well, guess what, mom was right, as moms always are. If you work on the computer all day or sit in front of the TV, then it is highly possible that you have bad posture. The thing is that it’s affecting you in ways that we would have never even thought of when we were children. Who would have ever thought that slouching and poor posture could be dangerous to your health? Well, it is. Admit it, we all do it. Slouching when we are on the computer, slouching when we’re watching TV on the couch. You know it’s not good for you, but still, you don’t do anything to improve it. That’s where this blog comes in. Not only are we going to delve into the dangers, risks, and side effects of bad posture, we’re going to talk about how to fix that bad posture as well.
So, without further ado, sit up straight, put your feet on the floor, and let’s talk about the dangers of bad posture and a few ways that you can fix it.
First, What is Posture?
To understand the dangers, risks, and problems associated with having bad posture, you first need to know what posture is. By definition, a posture is a way that a person holds their body and the alignment of their spine and how they sit, stand, and even relax. When you aren’t standing, sitting, or relaxing the right way, it’s known as bad posture. While we all thought that bad posture was, well just bad posture, it seems that we might have been wrong and it could hold health problems for you in the future. But, how do you tell if your posture is all that bad, you might ask. We’ll go into a few signs that you might notice in our next section. Bad posture includes the following as well.
- Slouching in a chair or on the couch
- Being in an improper position when you’re using the computer or on your phone
- Standing with your back flat
- Doing the same repetitive movement for long hours at a time
- Toting around extremely heavy book bags, suit or briefcases
- Leaning on only one of your legs
- Being stressed or anxious on a regular basis
- Rounded shoulders
- Weight lifting
- Having excessive weight around your stomach or when you’re pregnant
- Wearing those high heels you love
Signs and Symptoms You Could have Bad Posture
You may have only some of the signs and symptoms of bad posture below or you may have all of them. However, if you know what you’re looking for, the signs are simple to see, not only for you but everyone who sees you as well.
Slumped shoulders are one of the number one signs out there that you have poor posture. Rolled shoulders, also called slumped shoulders often appear on people who spend a lot of time hunched over a computer, whether for work or play. Another obvious sign is how far your chest sticks out. If your shoulders are hunched forward, then your chest is going to be sunken in, clear indications that you need to work on your posture.
No, the hunch back doesn’t have to be as obvious as the Disney cartoon character, but it is a sign of bad posture. If you notice this about yourself or a family member, the slumped shoulders and a forward incline to your head is not going to be far behind.
Other Signs and Symptoms of Bad Posture
- Forward head carriage
- Anterior pelvic tilt, also known as duck bottom
- Posterior pelvic tilt, also known as sway back
- Shoulder tilt or hike
- And flat feet
These are just a few of the signs that you need to look out for if you suspect that you have bad posture. Now, that we know the signs and symptoms of poor posture, we can move into our section on the dangers of having bad posture as well. Ready? Let’s get started then.
Dangers of Bad Posture Revealed
Who would have thought that having bad posture could actually affect your general health? Not many of us, however, there are dangers of having bad posture that can indeed cause you problems. A few of those dangers will be discussed in this section.
Your poor posture could lead to something called stress incontinence, which can be caused by hours of slouching in front of the computer all day. You slouch to try to see the computer screen and it’s doing more than affecting your eyes, it seems. Stress incontinence is when you leak a little bit of urine when you laugh or cough. It’s important to note, however, that this can be caused by other issues as well, so if it is happening to you on a regular basis, you need to see your doctor.
Hunching over when you are on the toilet with your knees lower than your hips isn’t only bad posture, it can also lead to constipation. Symptoms of constipation are listed below. If you have these symptoms for a long time, please make an appointment with your primary care provider for treatment.
- Fewer than 3 bowel movements in a week
- Hard, dry stools
- Straining to use the bathroom
- A sense that you haven’t emptied your bowels all the way
Slow Digestion and Heartburn
Who would have thought that the heartburn you’re suffering with could be from not sitting and standing the right way? Well, it could be a cause of slow digestion and heartburn as well. It seems that piling up on the couch or slouching over your computer after you eat can cause it to take longer for your food to digest. This can lead to heartburn that none of us like to deal with. Try taking a walk after your dinner, that will help with your digestion, your heartburn, and your posture as well.
Being Sore and in Pain
Slouching actually isn’t a normal position for the body to be in, and it causes our muscles to work harder. Continued slouching and bad posture can lead to bad overall health and long term effects, such as lower back pain and soreness in all parts of the body.
Most women are taught from the time we were little girls that the proper way to sit in with one leg crossed over the other. While that might be right from a ladylike perspective, it’s not good for your posture. Not only can it lead to poor circulation, where the blood doesn’t flow well through your body, it can also lead to spider veins and lower back problems if you aren’t careful.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
We have all heard of this one, especially if you’re someone whose job it is to be in front of a computer every day. What we didn’t realize is that poor posture can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. This is because the nerves in your neck and back actually control the muscle functions in your hands, arms, and wrists. If you have tingling sensations, numbness or pain in these areas, try straightening up your posture and get help from a doctor if this doesn’t help you.
Body Image Issues
Bad posture will eventually lead to the problems we listed above, which means that eventually, your body is going to show the wear and tear from slouching. This can lead to body image issues where you are seen as slouched and lazy. Working on your posture can not only change your appearance but your image of yourself as well.
Other Dangers of Bad Posture Revealed
There are a few other dangers and side effects of having bad posture as well. We will list those below before we move into our section on how to fix your bad posture problems.
- Negative Moods
- Increased stress
- Less motivation
- May cause varicose veins
- Will cause back problems
- Will cause neck problems
These are just a few of the top issues and dangers that you can end up with from having bad posture. While it might be hard to admit that your mom was right, statistics don’t lie. If you ever find yourself with a sore back, muscles, and just feeling downright bad after a long day at the computer or even a long, lazy day of curling up on the couch and watching Netflix, it might be because of your bad posture. Don’t slouch! Sit up straight and see how much better you’ll feel in the long run. Now, it’s time to move into our section on what you can do to fix your bad posture and avoid the dangers listed above.
Top Tips for Fixing Your Bad Posture
Now, that we know what the signs and symptoms are of bad posture and the true life dangers it can cause, it’s time to look at a few ways that you can fix it, and avoid health problems in the short and long term.
Get a Wii-Fit
Yes, playing a video game can actually help you get exercise and improve your posture at the same time. While it isn’t an option for everyone, because game systems are expensive investments, having a Wii-Fit has been said to help with posture quite a bit. However, if you don’t have one of these systems or the game, then you can stand more often when working, writing, or even playing other video games. It’s better for you and will help your posture as well.
Exercises that work on and strengthen your core will begin to correct your posture as well. Yoga is one of those types of exercise routines. It doesn’t matter if you do yoga in the comfort of your own home or join a Yoga class at the local gym, it will help your posture, help you get fit and healthy, and help you mentally and emotionally as well.
Hold Your Phone and Tablet the Right Way
In a world, where absolutely everyone is on their phone or tablet, proper posture is falling by the wayside. Everywhere you look, people are on their phones and slouched over their tablets so they can see what’s going on in the world today. Try sitting up straight and holding your phone out in front of you, instead of tilting your head and neck to look at it. If you’re just reading, prop your phone or tablet up so you don’t have to slouch to see the words.
Sit Up Straight
The simplest way to correct your bad posture is by doing exactly what your mom always told you to do, sit up straight! If you make yourself aware of your bad posture and make a conscious effort to fix it, it will soon become second nature to do so, don’t you think? If you have problems remembering, visit your mom or grandmother and they will certainly be willing to remind you.
This concludes our blog on the danger of bad posture and the best ways to fix it. Remember, if you have problems associated with what you think is bad posture, it’s still best to contact your primary health care provider for an appointment to be sure and on the safe side. Some of these issues can come from underlying causes and conditions. Until next time, sit up straight, everyone, you’ll be glad you did!
- Lifehack: 7 Signs You’ll Notice When You have Bad Posture
- Harvard Health Publishing: 3 Surprising Risks of Poor Posture
- Lifehacker: Top 10 Ways to Fix Your Terrible Posture