Remember when our moms used to warn us about slouching? We thought they were just being difficult. Little did we know that they were only trying to save our backs, literally speaking?
Physiotherapists note that when you intentionally or unintentionally repeat poor posture every day, your body’s structure slowly changes and adapts to it, resulting in misalignment of the spine and pain.
According to consultant therapist, Dr. Aramide Jones, people with poor posture will suffer from postural imbalance which may compress their organs. She states that poor posture can reduce the efficacy of your organs.
Jones says, “Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Your posture directly affects your health. It compresses your internal organs, reducing their efficiency and normal function.
“This may cause such issues as respiratory problems, chest tightness, high blood pressure or poor digestion. It is the new first-world problem that’s causing more mental and physical health complications and the reason to highlight it is that most people don’t realise it.”
Here is a breakdown of how poor posture affects many parts of the body
Internal medicine expert, James Anslem, explains that slouching and assuming poor posture while sitting constricts the intestines, making it difficult for foods to digest.
Anslem says people with poor posture will experience frequent constipation compared to those who have the right standing and sitting positions.
Poor posture can make digestion uncomfortable and cause a host of issues. If you are experiencing digestive distress, you may want to take a closer look at your posture and how much time you are spending sitting each day. Slouching has even been attributed to digestive issues such as acid reflux and hernias,’ he counsels.
Makes you prone to pot belly
Poor posture may do more than just weaken your digestive system; it may also cause you to develop that unsightly belly pouch that women dread. This paunch affects both heavy and thin women and can be attributed to poor posture.
Jones explains that a poor posture causes a protruding viscera, which pushes up against your abdominal walls, making them look bigger. By sitting up straight, you will not only improve your digestion, but you will also lose a few inches in your waist, the experts stress.
The experts agree that poor posture restricts blood and oxygen flow to the diaphragm and the rib cage, which makes it difficult to breathe.
Anslem explains that proper posture becomes even more important when engaging in physical exercise simply because the body requires a higher oxygen intake to meet the physical demands of the activity.
He stresses, “To really see how posture affects your breathing, sit with your shoulders and spine in a slouched position in your chair. Exhale and then hold your breath. Now, stand up straight and continue to hold your breath.
“That vacuum-like feeling you’re experiencing is a representation of the breathing space you lose while slouching. Just imagine how much oxygen your body is losing simply because of poor habits.”
From neck and back pain to blood flow and respiration, posture can have a major impact on how we live and how we feel every day.
The human body was designed to move – not to sit in a chair for several hours at a time. Over time, bad posture leads to fatigue, depression, pain and headaches. There’s a reason your mother told you to sit up straight.
Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting a good night’s sleep and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
Good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue. Without good posture, you can’t really be physically fit.
Here are some tips to ensure that you stop slouching like a couch potato.
Invest in an ergonomic chair, keyboard and mouse. If you have to spend the day working in a chair, you want to make sure that it’s providing you with the support you need.
· Get up and stretch every half hour or hour, if possible. This will give your body a break and allow your organs to get the oxygen they need.
· Exercise. Focus on exercises that strengthen your core. A strong core will make it much easier for your body to remain in an upright position.
· Practise yoga. Yoga encourages good posture. A large portion of the poses require you to keep your shoulders and chest broad, which opens the lungs and allows you to breathe easily.