We are all used to hearing the constant reminders from our parents that tell us to sit up straight and not slouch, especially when we are growing up. While they may not be aware of all the implications of poor posture themselves, those reminders are actually good advice. You see, good posture is very important and it concerns your body’s positioning and alignment with respect to the force of gravity.
Maintaining good posture is also vital to preventing problems that can range from fatigue to back pain. Only when your back is straight, your spine is stabilized and supported. If you practice other methods of poor posture like slouching, your spine does not get enough support to stay balanced. This leads to many health problems that are described below.
Increases levels of cortisol
Results from extensive research have shown that bad posture can lead to a decrease in testosterone levels and an increase in cortisol levels in our bodies. Cortisol is responsible for creating stress and can lower our overall confidence. In addition, the fact that we slouch also causes reduced lung function and it will add even more stress on our bodies. Simply put, our stress levels are far higher than they should be.
Affects blood circulation
Bad posture is also known to change the natural alignment of your spine. The resulting movement and slight misalignment of the vertebrae can cause problems such as blood vessel constriction. When the blood vessels around the spine are constricted, it can cut off blood supply to the muscle cells and also affect oxygen and nutrient supply. Constricted blood vessels can also increase the risk of clot formation and other complications like deep vein thrombosis.
Weaker lung function
It has been observed that your lung capacity can be affected by up to thirty percent when you hunch or lean forward too much. When your lung function is affected, your tissues, brain and heart do not receive as much oxygenated blood as they usually do. This may lead to clouded thinking, shortness of breath and even heart and vascular disease.
Create digestive issues
When you sit for too long, you will not only constrict your lungs and heart but your intestines as well. This can affect your body’s ability to digest food, causing a host of issues other than just discomfort. If you are experiencing any form of digestive distress, you will want to pay close attention to your current posture and how much time you are actually spending sitting on a daily basis. It has been observed that digestive issues such as hernias and acid reflux are caused by slouching as well.
Overworked muscles that cause soreness
Patients, whose health issues were diagnosed from poor posture, have complained of sore muscles too. When you slouch, your muscles have to work even harder to keep the spine protected and stabilized. The extra work that these muscles have to bear is taxing and will cause fatigue and tightness. This will quickly lead to chronic issues with sore and tight muscles from the neck to the lower back region. The two major muscle groups that bear the brunt of these issues are the extensors and flexors of the trunk, which enables you to bend forward and lift objects.