Posture is defined as the way a person holds their body when standing, sitting, or lying down. Bad posture is developed when a certain habit or activity pattern causes a person’s body to rest in a bad position that becomes the second nature of their body.
Daily habits that lead to poor posture:
- Lifting heavy objects and backpacks at work, during exercise, and when going to school
- Sitting or standing for a long period of time
- Wearing heels or ill-fitting shoes
- Using your ear and shoulder to hold the telephone
- Sleeping on an unsupported bed mattress
Signs that you have a poor posture:
- Rounded shoulders
- Bent knees when standing or walking
- Head that either leans forward or backward
- Back pain
- Body aches and pains
- Sticking your bum out a.k.a Donald Duck posture
- Muscle fatigue
- Slouching on your desk
- Standing with a flat back
Negative effects of a bad posture
1. It worsens depression and negative thinking
Slouching increases the likelihood of people to lose focus and think negatively about themselves and other people.
2. Back pain and muscle strains
These are common to occur when you are in a poor sitting or standing position for a long period of time. The pain causes distraction that causes lack of focus and less productive.
3. Interrupts digestion
Slouching makes people crunch their stomach that interferes with digestion that may also cause heartburn
4. Cuts the air you breathe
30% of the air that goes into your lungs gets stripped away because of slumping that causes shortness of oxygen supply to your brain that results in difficulty to think that is another cause of not being productive.
5. Makes you less assertive
Thinking negatively and having low energy can affect how a person perform at work and stand up for themselves or to support their opinions.
6. Digital eye strain
Poor sitting position result in incorrect level and distance of the eye from the computer screen that causes dry eyes, headache, and blurred vision. Correcting your sitting position and following the distance of 20-28 inches from the eye to the screen and a screen height of 15-20 degrees below the eye level will let you work more comfortable and productive.
When you poke your head forward, every inch is equals to a 10 pounds heavier head that causes more weight to your neck. Too much pressure on the neck results in headache.
8. Makes you sickly
Research found that back pain is the most common cause of work absences. Poor posture also worsens back injuries or deeper issues related to your back.
How to correct a bad posture
Most often, people rest in positions that make them feel comfortable. However, most of these positions are bad for you and promote poor posture.
Moreover, correcting these habits may feel weird and irritating at first that is why many people stick to their poor posture and will only feel the urge to fix it when serious injuries occur, which makes it even harder to treat.
So as early as now, do these simple practices to maintain the natural curves of your spine and start your way to more productive days and healthier body!
Set up your office desk and monitor so that you can sit with your back straight, chin straight, shoulders directly over your hips, elbows bent on a 90-degree angle, feet resting straight on the floor with your heels directly underneath your knees, and thighs parallel to the ground. You may also imagine your head being pulled up with a string tied to the ceiling straight above your head.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees aligned over the feet, hips over the feet, back straight, shoulders over the hips, arms hanging naturally, ear lobes parallel with shoulders, and chin parallel to the ground. Imagine your ear, shoulder, hips, knees, and feet on one straight line when viewed sideways.
Get a posture break every 20 minutes and do any minor physical activity. You could walk around the office, hop a couple of steps from the stairs, get your water bottle refilled, stretch your back, etc. This is a great way to realign your posture and stretch your muscles so you won’t get back pain and muscle strains.
Do a regular back exercise routine
Bridges, back extension, plank, side-lying leg raises, pull-ups, hip-flexor stretches, and standing thigh stretches are some of the exercises that the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS) listed to fix the most common posture mistakes. You may do this every morning together with your daily exercise routine or you could go for two to three times per week.
Wear back posture support
You may use posture undergarment support to help you practice good posture habits. Just make sure to read the instructions carefully on the proper usage and how long you should wear it to avoid any possible issues. Wearing posture support during your daily exercise is also advisable to give adequate protection to the most used part of your body during exercise – your back. Activewear with built-in posture support, such as the Bodyvine triple-compression wear is one that can help you maintain proper posture and avoid straining your back and limits upper back kyphosis (hunchback) during workout.
Visit your physiotherapist
Don’t hesitate to see your physiotherapist whenever you feel a consistent pain on your back, shoulders, or any strain on your body so you could get the proper treatment as early as possible.