There is no doubt that good posture is much better than slouching with drooping shoulders. However, you may not realize that the side effects of poor posture are not only bad, but it can also have detrimental effects on your overall health.
Bad posture, especially in the current technological era, is impossible to escape. However, a bad posture is more than a small daily problem. Poor posture can have many side effects on your health. These side effects go beyond the physical.
Bad posture can put more stress on certain muscles and joints, forcing them to work too much and get tired. Many patients with chronic pain can be helped by correcting their poor posture. Your posture reflects your worldview.
To take care of yourself, it is important to focus on having a straight posture. It can be tedious right now, but good posture will be beneficial in the long run! We have described 15 side effects of poor posture that are both immediate and progressive. Once you have all the information about the side effects of poor posture, you can focus on helping yourself achieve excellent posture!
Poor Posture Side Effects
1. Exacerbating Arthritis
Poor posture can cause misalignment of the spine or knees, which can increase stress on the knees. This can be particularly harmful if you have knee arthritis. Over time, this misalignment can worsen the effects of arthritis by putting pressure on a part of the joint and causing pain. Pain can decrease the overall function and quality of life.
Poor posture can negatively affect your energy level. When we have a bad posture, we add tension and compression to the structures that should not support this weight.
These strains and stresses accumulate over time and wear down our bones, joints, and ligaments, even changing the way our muscles fire. Not only can bad posture add stress and tension, but it can also tire you faster. This happens because poor posture and gait require much more energy and work to maintain and compensate. The more efficient we can be in our good posture, movement and gait, the more we can improve our energy efficiency.
3. Increased Stress
Many researchers have conducted studies on the effects of poor posture on stress levels. When a person has poor posture, they are more likely to develop depressed feelings and lower energy levels. Because you are actually closing off your body from circulating correctly when you have poor posture, it also restricts bodily functions. These bodily processes slow down and eventually leave you with depleted energy. This lack of energy causes irritability and high levels of stress.
Not only your mind will be stressed by these slow processes, but also your body. Certain organs have to work very hard when their person has a bad posture, which places excessive stress on them. An important way to deal with these higher levels of stress is not only to change the bad posture but also to exercise.
4. Bad Digestion
Bad posture is particularly harmful to the body after eating. This posture can trigger heartburn and acid reflux. When a person relaxes, he puts excessive pressure on his back and then on his stomach. This pressure on the stomach is not healthy, but it is particularly unhealthy while the stomach tries to digest food. Digestion can be slowed down with poor posture. Poor digestion can lead to other bodily problems, such as stool problems and heart problems.
Are you having problems removing metabolic waste products? Blame your posture. One of the many side effects of poor posture is that it changes the functioning of your internal organs. It has a profound effect on how your intestines transport food. Bad posture slows the movement of your intestines.
Research suggests that one of the side effects of poor posture is that it can negatively affect your mood.
For example, a study published in March 2017 in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry found that “adopting an upright posture can increase positive affect, reduce fatigue and decrease self-concentration” in people with mild to moderate depression. In the study, 61 volunteers with mild to moderate depression were asked to recite a speech. A task known to cause stress. Some of the participants sat in their usual postures, while others sat upright. The study found that people who stood up spoke more than the other group and used fewer unique first-person pronouns.
A 2014 study published in Health Psychology produced similar results. In this investigation, 74 people were randomly assigned to sit or stand and were asked to complete a reading assignment and recite a speech. People who straightened reported better self-esteem, greater alertness, better mood and less fear than those who were slouching.
7. Head Forward Posture
One of the side effects of poor posture is the head forward posture.
Head forward posture is a common condition that occurs when the head is aligned forward in relation to the spine. Ideally, a healthy relationship between the head and neck would align a person’s ear with their shoulder when viewed from the side. As the head progressively sways over time, the individual may succumb to a myriad of musculoskeletal dysfunctions that affect various body systems. This condition can strain certain muscles and weaken others causing neck pain caused by muscle tension and tension headaches.
8. Bad Circulation
If you sit in a chair for hours each day with poor posture, you run the risk of developing or worsening circulation problems. When you sit all day with a bad posture, you prevent your body from getting the necessary circulation it needs. This can lead to varicose veins, which women are particularly at risk of. Take some time to move around during the day and make postural changes. This will not only help you improve your posture, but it can also save you from serious health problems later in life.
9. Jaw Pain
Poor posture can lead to the temporomandibular joint syndrome, also known as TMJ. Since poor posture misaligns the spine, its side effects can cause a bad bite pattern, which affects the temporomandibular joints, the two joints that connect the jaw with the temporal bones of the skull. These joints work similarly to a hinge, which allows you to open and close your mouth. A poor posture in the neck and shoulders, or head forward posture can make these delicately balanced joints misalign. When the joints are misaligned, they are more likely to lock, cramp or even go into spasm. This will result in jaw pain and even difficulty chewing.
One of the main causes of back pain and headache is poor alignment or bad posture. Hunching over and looking down exerts additional pressure on the back muscles of the neck to prevent the head from falling forward. This can strain the muscles. This poor posture can tighten the neck muscles and compromise the natural curvature of the spine, which can cause headaches. Tense muscles in the neck can send pain to the head.
11. Efficiency in Breathing
To breathe properly, your diaphragm needs to have enough space in the thoracic cavity to release and contract properly with each breath. Your ability to breathe optimally increases when your body lengthens and aligns properly. One of the side effects of poor posture and misalignment of the spine is that they can compromise your ability to breathe well. The quality of breathing is important because the body needs oxygen to restore and rejuvenate the cells. Deep and full breaths help promote a healthy brain, heart, and other vital organs. If you have a poor posture, one of the side effects is that your breathing will be affected.
12. Sexual Function
One of the many side effects of poor sitting posture is that it can affect your sexual function. Sloppy sitting can have profound effects on the sexual function of men and women because this posture shortens and tightens the pelvic floor muscles, which are our main sexual muscles. When the pelvic floor muscles are tense and weak, you cannot exercise your power and strength, and the end result may be a weak or non-existent orgasm.
For instance, men whose pelvic floor is shortened and tightened due to poor sitting posture may have less resistance and may experience weak ejaculation. Women with pelvic floor problems may experience reduced sexual arousal and rare orgasms.
13. Shoulder, Neck and Back Pain
Poor posture can contribute to shoulder pain. This can lead to rotator cuff tendons pressing the coracoacromial arch of your shoulder, which causes pain when you move or lie on the side of the affected shoulder. Poor posture can also lead to shortening and contraction of the lumbar muscles, which can contribute to an unhealthy tightness and lower pain.
Back pain can also be caused by a “military posture” in which someone tries to stand or sit straight like a stick, lifting their chest and forcing their back muscles to work too hard. This also contributes to the pain of the lower back, because when out your chest will cause your lower bank to overextend.
14. Problems with Sleeping
Poor posture can negatively affect your sleep. When your spine is not correctly aligned when you lie down, it can cause difficulty in relaxation. This will eventually affect sleep. You can read more about the proper posture for lying down here.
15. Less Motivation
If you slouch at work, your work ethic could be affected. In a study of health psychology, researchers found that participants who slouched showed reduced concentration and less confidence. Someone who is slouching will show less confidence or shyness. Someone who has a good posture seems safer and more accessible, which will affect many social situations.
Since one of the side effects of poor posture is the loss of confidence, less motivation can also be derived from poor posture. You may seem less confident or shy if you slouch, which can affect social and professional situations. Less motivation also accompanies depression and fatigue, which are side effects of poor posture.
16. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Since the nerves in the neck and upper back control the muscle function of the arms, wrists, and hands, one of the side effects of poor posture is that it can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Muscles may become tense and experience numbness, tingling or pain. Poor wrist posture can also cause carpal tunnel syndrome. While it is important to control the posture of the upper body, it is important to think about the posture of the hand (especially when writing).
17. Work Out Recovery Time
One of the many poor posture side effects is that it can affect your workouts and recovery times. Some muscles will work too much with poor posture and get tired too quickly, causing more pain during and after a workout because the body will swell up and become irritated.
18. Foot Pain
The misalignment can also end up affecting your feet. Bad posture can create foot pain and make it difficult for you to wear your favorite shoes. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to your posture from head to toe.
19. High Blood Pressure
According to research from the University of Leeds, slumping when you are sitting down and slouching down while standing can cause high blood pressure. The forward rolling of your shoulders and rounding of your back may end up affecting your breathing. There are also receptors in the neck that affect blood pressure. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain good posture to avoid these poor posture side effects.
Conclusion and Recommendation
As we have discussed, poor posture side effects are very numerous and can affect your overall health. You must take very keen care of your posture.
Always maintain a good posture by keeping a straight posture always.
If you feel any kind of pain due to your posture, immediately change that position. However, for any reoccurring pain visit your doctor, physiotherapist or a certified chiropractor.