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The effects of bad posture

Your mother was right.

We hate to be the ones who told you, but she was right.

All of those times she told you to stop slouching and to stand up straight? She actually had very good reason to stay on your case.

Slouching and poor posture can lead to so many more problems than simply looking bad. From immediate problems, to longer-term issues, there are so many reasons why you should listen to your mum and … stop slouching!

It can block your digestive system

Yes, you read that right. Slouching can actually have a negative effect on your digestive system. When you are hunched down, your internal organs have less room than when you are standing tall. Because of this, they effectively get squished and therefore can’t function as well as they should. They begin to work more slowly than usual, and not only that but bad posture has also been connected to acid reflux and some hernias.

Affects your happiness

Here’s a surprising fact – your posture has an impact on your mood and happiness levels!

A recent study shows that how you hold yourself will effect your self-confidence. A group of people were told to sit up straight in an interview, and a group of people were allowed to slouch. The interview was a written test, where applicants had to fill out a questionnaire on whether they believed they were the right fit for the job.

The group who were sitting straight, with good posture, had far more self-confidence than the other group, and believed that they should be the ones who got the job. So not only does sitting up straight make you appear more confident, it seems that it really actually makes you more confident too!

Slouching makes you look bigger

When you slouch, your shoulders are rounded and your tummy protrudes, instantly adding a thickness to your body. And when you are sitting while you slouch, everything on the inside runs out of room and therefore is pushed outwards, giving the impression that you are carrying a lot more weight than what you really are. Even the slimmest of people will look larger if they have poor posture.

Sore muscles and back pain

Poor posture will lead to lower back pain as well as neck and shoulder pain. If you have poor posture when you’re standing or sitting for a long period of time, it will create pressure on parts of your back and body that were not intended to carry the load. It is for this same reason that you can get joint stress in your spine when it is curved incorrectly.

Continuously putting this stress and pressure onto the joints will result in degradation of the tissues surrounding them, which will cause a lot of pain. Aside from just sore muscles in the short term, the long term effects can be painful as well, such as a herniated disc and aggravated nerves.

Spinal curvature

Your spine is supposed to be curved, not ramrod straight, so good posture does actually mean to have a curved spine. However, too much curve or not enough can do some serious damage to the spine over time. When the spine is curved incorrectly – by slouching or having poor posture – it makes other parts of your spine over compensate. The parts of the spine that are made to take the weight of your body are off kilter, and the other parts that are not supposed to be supporting your body are put under a great deal of pressure. The vertebrae in the spine can start to rub together (instead of having a nice space between them), and they begin to deteriorate.

Blood vessel and nerve constriction

As the alignment of the spine changes, blood vessels can be cut off. This means they will cut off the blood supply to the muscles, which hinders nutrient and oxygen supply. Not only this, but when blood vessels are constricted it can raise your chances of clot formation and lead to possible deep vein thrombosis.

Restricted breathing

When you slouch, your rib cage is squashed and cannot properly expand. This means your lungs also cannot expand as much as they need to, impacting on your breathing and the oxygen flow in your body. If you have poor posture while doing exercise, it can be very hard to breathe as much as you’d need to, in order to run as fast or push yourself as hard as you’d like to.

Tension headaches

Tension headaches are probably the most common ailment that results from poor posture. These days, so many people are sitting at a desk for their jobs all day long. If they have poor posture, the strain on the back and neck is huge, and eventually travels to the head.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why you should work on correcting your posture.


February 29, 2016
Georgina Smith