Straighten Up: The Long-Term Effect of Bad Posture

Next time you’re in a public space, whether it be an office or a coffee shop, take a look at everyone around you.

How are they all sitting?

We’d be willing to bet that the majority of people are either hunched over their laptops or hunched over their smartphones. Sadly, this poor posture does a lot more than just make everyone appear a bit shorter.

Poor posture can actually wreak havoc on your health. And not just your physical health — your emotional health as well.

Sit up straight and keep reading to learn the effects of bad posture.

Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain

Sitting in a slouched position causes your neck and back to misalign.

Once misalignment occurs, other joints need to work overtime to redistribute the load. This extra work can cause undue pain and stress in your back, neck, and shoulders.

Digestive Issues

Sitting in a slouched position puts pressure on your internal organs and causes them to compress.

This compression can slow down the digestive process and actually lead to long-term digestive issues, such as a slow metabolism.

Poor Circulation

In order to keep your body functioning at optimal levels, there needs to be continuous and healthy blood flow.

Unfortunately, bad posture does the opposite. It constricts your blood flow and causes blood to collect in the veins for long periods of time.

In addition to being painful, this can cause varicose veins.

Increase Risk of Death and Disease

You may want to rethink your nightly routine of slouching on the couch and watching TV.

According to a recent Australian study, every hour spent doing so reduces one’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

Plus, researchers have long known that too much sitting in general can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

Increases Stress

Like we said earlier, the effects of bad posture aren’t just physical.

Those with bad posture tend to be more stressed out, according to a recent Harvard study. 

The study found that when people developed powerful postures (straight spines and open shoulders) their cortisol (the stress hormone) levels decreased by 25 percent. Their testosterone levels increased by 20 percent.

In contrast, those who developed poor postures saw a 15 percent increase in cortisol levels and a 10 percent decrease in testosterone levels.

Deepens Depression

A recent study conducted by San Francisco State University found a link between bad posture and depression.

They gave participants two choices: walk down the hall in a slouched position or skip down the hall.

Those who walked slouched reported not only increased feelings of depression but also lower energy levels.

Not a Good Look

And of course, there are some shallower effects of bad posture as well.

Sitting in a slouched position causes your belly to stick out, automatically making you look heavier.

And don’t think no one else is noticing- Slouching can actually affect the way people perceive us.

When you slouch on the job, it makes you appear smaller and less powerful. Stand up straight, and you’ll appear bigger and more confident.

Effects of Bad Posture: Wrap Up

We hope this article helps get you in the habit of sitting up straight and better yet, staying active.

However, if you’ve been an avid sloucher for years, there’s a good chance your body is already suffering a bit.

Schedule a consultation today if you’re ready to get your body back on track.