So, you slouch a bit in your chair. Maybe you lean on your elbow while talking on the phone. There are numbers of positions your body can settle in at work. However, unruly posture may be detrimental to the health of your spine (and entire body!) If you’re not practicing proper posture, you may be in for some real pain.
Back Off! Echoes From The Past…
Everyone had a mom, dad, or grandmother who said, “Stand up straight!”, “Sit up in your seat!”, or “Pull those shoulders back!” As much as we didn’t want to listen, we should have. Many neck, shoulder, and backaches, along with spinal health deterioration, have derived from lousy posture.
Here’s the low-down. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late to make corrections. Proper posture requires attention. Ideally, you want to place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments. In order to achieve that, you’ll need to be aware of how you walk, stand, sit, and even sleep.
Alright, Already! What Could Go Wrong?
It’s possible you aren’t feeling the effects of your poor posture, yet. But, you will. And if you have already, you can attest to the pain and discomfort. Aside from feeling awful, you could be causing damage to your body.
Here are some consequences that can be attributed to bad body positioning:
- Slouching can cause digestion problems. When you’re hunched over, your internal organs struggle for space. For example, your intestines may not have enough room to digest properly. This can cause gas, cramps, and constipation.
- Even worse, slouching may inhibit your system to process food efficiently. Thus, you may not be getting all the nutrition you need. Additionally, it may also have an effect on your metabolism.
- Crossing your legs in your chair can effect your circulation. Don’t be surprised if you start developing those pesky spider veins. And aside from that, crossing legs creates a strain on your lower back.
- Ever heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Aside from repetitive motion, bad posture can contribute to this development. Keep in mind, the nerves in your neck and upper back are linked to muscles in your wrists and hands.
- Without practicing proper posture, don’t be surprised if you fatigue easily. Your body uses energy to keep it upright. The poorer your posture, the harder your spine and muscles work to combat gravity. After a few hours, there’s no surprise why your body feels tired and achy.
- Without proper posture, you risk developing lordosis. This condition is also sometimes called “swayback.” Basically, your upper and middle back flexes in too much and your lower back protrudes out to compensate. Your spine starts curving too far inward, which can cause damage to your spine and create massive discomfort. Sometimes, it can hurt so badly that you can’t even move.
Posture Particulars: 101
Naturally, our bodies have been created to optimize efficiency. If we’re practicing proper posture, realistically, we’re utilizing very few muscle contractions. Standing or sitting upright should create good-quality, spinal alignment. Our joints and bones should fit together with ease.
When we’re lazy and don’t think about how to carry ourselves, we can cause health problems without even knowing it. Here are a couple of simple tips to maintain proper posture:
- When seated, keep your feet flat on the floor. Do not cross your legs. Your shoulders should be over your hips and your chin aligned over your chest. Taking deep breaths should feel easy.
- When standing, keep your weight equally distributed. Avoid leaning on one leg more than the other.
- When sleeping on your back, use a pillow to support your neck (not your head.) Also, place a pillow under your knees for lower back comfort.
- When sleeping on your side, use a pillow that can support both your head and neck. Utilize another pillow, placing it in between the knees. If there’s too much space between your waist and the mattress, place another pillow there for lumbar support.
Unfortunately, we don’t always heed the advice of our elders—or even experts. But when it comes to spinal health, we can’t really ignore the guidance. We can, but then the consequences can be dire. You understand if you’ve ever experienced back pain. That’s impossible to ignore. Hopefully, this article has inspired you to improve your posture—even if it’s just to look more like a runway model…
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