Having good posture is very important for spine strength and proper breathing.
Bad posture can have multiple negative effects on your body and your health, including back and shoulder pain, poor circulation and digestion, increased stress, carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as frequent headaches.
Although we’ve all been caught hunching over our computer at work, while driving, or even at home while scrolling through our Facebook or Instagram feed, not all of us are aware of our bad habits or how they even affect our posture.
In order to know how to overcome our bad habits and improve ourselves, we first need to realize that there are multiple factors that play a role in our posture and that can get in a way of us having good posture. Once you determine the underlying factors that lead to bad posture you’ll be able to seek the ideal medical treatment, or make the necessary changes in your daily lifestyle in order to improve your condition.
Let’s have a look at what those factors or reasons for bad posture might be.
When we injure a part of our body, the muscles surrounding that part usually spasm in order to protect the vulnerable area and keep the injured part of our body stable so as to avoid further injuries. Although this happens for a good reason, what this means for our posture is that with our movements limited, the muscles that stay in spasm can weaken over time, causing an imbalance between our normally working muscles and the weakened ones. This can lead to bad posture which will probably require some physical therapy or regular massages.
Fatigue and Muscle Weakness
The way we work, and lead our everyday lives can cause excessive muscle weakness as well as lead to fatigue, both of which are common factors that can cause bad posture and should therefore not be taken lightly.
The best way to make sure you don’t tire out yourself or your muscles is to not stay in one position for too long, and be mindful of your workout routine, so as not to overdo your exercises and put too much pressure on your muscles.
Another important, yet typically overlooked factor is the placement of your feet. This one is particularly important if you have a desk job, and you spend a lot of your time sitting, without knowing the right position for your feet. That’s why when sitting at your desk you need to make sure your back is straight, and your knees at the tight angle – not bent forward. Don’t sit with your legs crossed, and try to put your feet up and elevate your legs by using foot rests that can be adjusted to the position that’s right for you.
Feet placement is also important when it comes to standing, running, bending and almost any other activity you can imagine. Our natural standing position is to roll our feet inward, which makes us bend our knees and slouch our back. This is the perfect recipe for bad posture which is why you need to be mindful of how you stand, run, exercise or do any other daily activity. Make sure to keep your feet placed upright, wear supportive shoes that are comfortable and help support your back and good posture.
Since muscle support is what predicates our posture, both on our spine and on our legs, as we age our muscles get weakened, making it harder for us to attain a perfect posture. Although we can’t do anything to reverse or stop the aging process there are a few things that we can do help maintain good posture as we age. Those things include a regular exercise regimen, good nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight.
We already mentioned that maintaining a healthy weight plays a huge role in having proper posture. The truth is, extra weight, and obesity can cause a lot of pressure on our knees, legs, spine and pelvis. People with extra weight around their stomach typically have problems with their lower back because their pelvis gets pulled forward, which adds a lot of stress on the lower back.
Same goes for women with larger breasts. The weight of the breasts can pull their chest forward causing them to feel back pain, making it hard for them to maintain good posture.
As we get more and more immersed into our phones, tablets, or devices, we start to lose our attention and forget about our posture. We are bent over our smartphones 2-4 hours a day which puts a lot of pressure on our necks, our shoulders and our spine, all three of which can lead to bad posture and a strained neck.
Bad Daily Habits
Although we just mentioned the worse daily habit that most of us have, and their effects on our posture, we do have a few more bad daily habits that we don’t know of, or are simply not aware of their effects on our posture.
- Washing dishes
- Carrying grocery bags
- Tying our shoes bent over
Here’s what you can do to make sure you do all of these daily activities properly, so as not to put a lot of stain on your spine and your muscles.
While washing the dishes, try to use a chair to lift up one leg, so that you’re not in a half-bent position all the time. This will help lower the pressure as well.
Save your spine from extra pressure by bringing two bags when you go shopping instead of one. Make sure to distribute the weight of your groceries evenly in both bags and don’t forget to lift with your knees.
If you want to avoid causing harm on your spine and intervertebral disks, you should tie your shoes in the seated position with your leg pulled up – not bent down or crouched on the floor.
Your fashion or more importantly shoe choices can make all the difference between having good or bad posture.
High heels can push your body forward, taking your spine and hips out of alignment, which can cause a lot of pressure on your knees, lower back, feet and ankles.
High heels and flip-flops aren’t the only types of foot wear that don’t provide the proper support. Even supportive shoes can affect your posture once they’ve been worn out, which can not only cause bad posture, but back pain as well.