We all know that having bad posture is harmful for our spine and back. But did you know that bad posture can affect your body and health in even more surprising ways? You are probably so busy during the day at work, doing errands, taking care of kids, and doing tasks around the house that your posture is the last thing on your mind. You will probably only realize how much you are slouching at your desk or hunching your shoulders as you are standing in the kitchen doing the dishes when you back begin to ache.
Of course, bad posture will make your back hurt, and you may even feel the pain and discomfort in your neck and shoulders. However, there are quite a few other ways that bad posture affects your overall health. We are talking about issues from headaches to digestive issues to mood problems.
In this post, we will take a look at the top reasons how bad posture affects your health and explore the best ways to fix your posture, so you can get back to feeling your best self in no time at all!
Getting headaches from bad posture is one of the most common side effects of slouching and not keeping a straight spine. While there are many kinds of headaches, the type that stems from bad posture (by pushing your head forward in front of your shoulders) is called a cervicogenic headache. This headache brings on neck pain by placing too much stress on the joints and the muscles in your neck. Strained neck muscles bring on bad headaches. This is common for those who work at a desk, sit most of the day, and stare at the computer for too long with bad posture.
How to Fix
You can fix headaches from bad posture in a few ways. Make sure your computer monitor is set up correctly and at the proper height. It should fall about 18 inches in front of you and should be at your eye level. Also make sure you are not slouching forward with your shoulders, not rounding your back, and protruding your head past your shoulders. Standing desks can be helpful, but must be used properly.
If you don’t think that bad posture can affect your digestion you would be incorrect. Bad posture can lead to heartburn and acid reflux in some people. When you are slouching over too much, you are putting unwanted pressure on your organs and they are scrunching up. This makes it harder for your body to digest your food efficiently. It can even cause your metabolism to slow down. Sitting with poor posture while eating or directly after eating can make your digestive issues even worse and can make you feel extremely uncomfortable.
How to Fix
To fix digestive issues associated with posture, make sure you are sitting tall and with a straight spine when you are eating and after you eat. This can make your food digest better and mitigate the cause of heartburn and acid reflux. Standing up and moving around after eating is also another way to take pressure off your organs and abdomen, so digestion can happen much more smoothly.
Mood Disorders and Depression
Bad posture can lead to depression and mood disorders and has been confirmed by many studies. One study found that when people slouch and slump their shoulders, their mood changed negatively. The study found that people who had bad posture experience an increase in their blood pressure and heart rate. This affected their mood, self-esteem, and increased their stress levels, which lead to feelings of fear, hostility, passiveness, dullness, fatigue, sluggishness, and nervousness.
How to Fix
To fix mood issues associated with bad posture, sitting up straight and keeping a tall spine will increase your self-esteem, make you feel more confident on a social level, and will leave you will less negative emotions. You will need to be consistent with this type of good posture in order to truly start feeling the effects.
Shoulder and Back Pain
Another extremely common side effect of bad posture is back and shoulder pain. Bad posture can put a lot of pressure on your lower back if you are overextending your lower back muscles. This often happens when people try too hard to sit tall and straight and push their chest outwards. It causes the muscles in your lower back to overextend. This leads to lower back pain, but it also can cause a burning sensation and constant pain in your upper back and shoulder muscles. You may even feel like it is located in the spine.
How to Fix
To correct this issue and to feel relief in your shoulders and lower back, you need to make sure you are not puffing your chest out when trying to have good posture and sit tall. You want to keep your spine straight, but not so much your chest is extending, and your lower back is curving.
Other Ways to Improve Your Posture
Sometimes you need some further help to correct your posture and improve any health issues you think you are experiencing from bad posture. Speaking with your doctor about your concerns is a great start to figuring out a proper treatment method.
One of the most popular ways to help correct posture and to realign your spine is through chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments will not just improve posture and spine health, but it will also help make all of the other system and organs in your body function better as well. I’m one of the best chiropractors in Anchorage and I see patients all the time with various health issues and concerns they want to fix and improve. Many patients will experience benefits from adjustments and other care after just one or two sessions. It is highly effective and a great non-invasive way to seek relief.
About Dr. Brent Wells
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice includes Anchorage massage therapists, physical rehab therapists, and chiropractors; and has treated thousands of patients from different health problems using various services designed to help give you long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.