The uncomfortable truth about bad posture

Your body is used to it, but that doesn’t mean it is a good thing. You know it, you have been told many times. You should stand up straight with your head up, your shoulders back and your feet firmly planted shoulder-width apart. Unfortunately, having bad posture is as common as getting up in the morning and going to sleep at night.

But why is bad posture a problem in the first place?

Bad posture contributes to:

  • Back and shoulder pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Headaches & jaw pain
  • Exacerbating arthritis
  • Fatigue

The causes of bad posture are many:

  • Having a desk job or sitting for too long: Sitting with your neck and head forward and shoulders hunched can contribute to bad posture.
  • Bad nutrition: Lack of good nutrition can affect your bones and muscles, thus decreasing the strength your body needs to hold itself in an upright position.
  • Technology: Computers, tablets, phones. Bending over our devices puts unnecessary pressure on our spine.
  • Clothes: Wearing overly tight clothing or high heels can contribute to back pain, developing bad posture.
  • Weight: Carrying too much weight on the midsection can pull the pelvis forward, taking the spine out of alignment and adding stress on the lower back.
  • Age and lack of exercise: Although our bodies become less flexible as we age, a sedentary lifestyle with no exercising keeps our muscles from being strong enough to make us stand straight.

Good news is you can reverse the effects of bad posture. Although the first and most important thing you should do is see a qualified professional to identify what type of bad posture you have, below are some activities you should consider:

  • Yoga: Many stretches emphasize posture and strengthen the muscles.
  • Squats: Many people know squats as one of the most effective exercises to build strength, but it is also an amazing exercise to build good posture.
  • Physical therapy: It can aid in the process of correcting posture by strengthening muscles that cause poor posture and also by increasing flexibility.

 

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