The Long Term Health Impact of Poor Posture

If you were to tell me that you made it through all of primary and secondary school, and countless family dinners without being told to “sit up straight” or “stop slouching!” I wouldn’t believe you.

With the increasing amounts of time that many of us spend sitting at a desk, whether for study or work, proper posture has never been more important. Many of us sit with a slump in a shoulders and our necks craned downwards to check out the most interesting electronic screen we have in front of us. But poor posture doesn’t only look bad, it can have many long term impacts on your health and well-being.

  1. Poor Circulation – Slouching and leaving your legs crossed for too long can increase the pressures involved in moving various fluids throughout your body. These increases in pressure outside of the standard resting range can lead to circulatory issues throughout the body (including the development of spider veins!)
  2. Digestive Problems – A strong slouch in your posture can cause your intestines to bunch up in ways that slow your digestion and can lead to the general pain, discomfort, and bloating that come with poor digestive function.
  3. Increased Stress – Poor posture can lead to increased levels of circulating cortisol throughout the body, leaving you feeling more stressed out than you should be. This increased stress hormone level can form a positive feedback loop alongside the other negative physiological effects mentioned here – definitely not something you want!
  4. Muscle Pain – Poor posture can put undue stress on smaller muscle groups which typically are not meant to carry the loads placed on them by this poor posture. This can lead to soreness, pain, tightness, and even strains if left to happen for too long.
  5. Decreased Lung Function – When hunching over your lungs aren’t able to function optimally as they can’t fully expand. This leads to lower oxygenation levels in other tissues throughout your body which can lead to a multitude of symptoms that you don’t want to be dealing with.

Who ever knew the Mom, Dad, and Mrs. Crabapple were right all along?