Deep down we all know how important posture is for our health. Still we slouch from time to time. While it might not seem like a big deal, your body actually reacts in some really scary ways.
Putting aside appearances, your poor posture could be having a seriously negative impact on your health.
Here are 5 scary things that happen when you slouch- and why keeping your back straight might be better for you than you know
Poor posture is one of the leading causes of headaches. Hunching over and looking downward (like at your phone while on the train?) causes major muscle tension in your neck. This discomfort can radiate upwards and give you serious headaches. Rather than suffer this periodically, try keeping your back straight and head up by lifting your device to your eye level instead.
Spending long periods hunched over compresses the organs and decreases overall lung capacity. Reducing oxygen intake with each breath also means your other major organs are not functioning at optimum capacity. When you slouch, you are taking shorter breaths, changing the way you breath normally. If you don’t improve your posture, this short breaths may become your new normal. The good news? All you need to do is sit up straight and take a deep breath to remind your body how it should breathe normally.
Upper body weakens
It’s a vicious cycle where your poor posture causes you pain, which you alleviate by more slouching, and in doing so weaken the muscles further.Hunching over a computer all day or laying sprawled out on the couch can cause tension in the upper body that can feel super unpleasant Try stretching periodically at work. At the gym, do exercises that tone your back and shoulders. You’ll look good and feel great.
With the breathing changes that accompany bad posture, it may then alter the functioning of your internal organs, such as the intestines. Slouching slows the rate your intestines move broken-food through the digestive tracts. Being folded over can cause congestion to your inner workings, leaving you miserable in more ways than one. Constipation is an unexpected side effect from slouching and one of the lesser known. Keep your back straight, stay hydrated and consume enough fiber to fight against this.
Slouching can make you feel sad and tired. A study of 110 students at SFSU found that those who walked in a hunched posture report feeling more depressed and having lower energy levels than those who were not. It also gives off that bad vibe gloomy feel seeing someone slumped over their desk or low in their seat. Other studies indicate a connection between slouching and depression. So sit up tall and stand upright. Your positive posture might help inspire someone.
Luckily, there are simple and quick solutions to the pervasive problem of slouching. Just be more mindful of your posture and try resisting the urge to slouch when it comes. Your body, and you will be happier for it.