We all feel guilty from time to time about certain bad habits that we’re unable to get rid of. Whether you’re procrastinating, feeling guilty about your dietary choices, or you’re used to bad sitting postures, you know that old habits die hard.
When it comes to an improper sitting posture, you might be thinking that your mom was right all along; it does have negative effects on your body. Slouching or slumping while you’re sitting may not feel bad at first. You might feel a lot better if you increase the tension on your neck and shoulders in favor of other body muscles. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious body issues in the long run. These following 6 health issues are an example of what can happen to your body due to improper sitting.
1. Soreness and Pain in Your Neck, Back, and Shoulder Area
The most common issue that improper sitting posture will result in is a continuous pain in your back, neck, and shoulders. Slouching while sitting adds a lot of pressure and stress to your upper body, so this will naturally result in pain in these areas. What is most commonly associated with slouching or improper sitting postures is lower back pain, but other forms of pain might be the product of bad sitting postures, like wrist soreness and joint pain. In worst-case scenarios, improper sitting can lead to spine misalignment, which can be permanent if your posture is not corrected promptly. However, you can often easily decrease the amount of strain that you experience by using something as basic as a seat cushion.
2. Bad Blood Circulation
Sitting down for long periods will affect your blood circulation, but adding bad posture into the mix might just be the perfect recipe for disaster for your back. People working from home suffer the most from this dilemma, as they might be sitting in their designated work area for a long time, while, unknowingly, restricting their blood flow. This can cause adverse health effects on your body. According to physical therapist Sabrina Seraj, DPT, CKTP, remedying bad blood flow can be done with many types of physical therapy, such as the Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT), which has proven to be more effective than heavy weight training. However, to avoid having bad blood circulation in the first place, you’ll have to keep reminding yourself of changing your posture throughout the day. Pulling your shoulders back, standing up, and stretching is a good start.
3. Increased Stress
Because bad sitting posture can affect your blood circulation, it can also affect other body functions and reduces your energy levels. When your body processes are slowing down, you’ll only have access to a limited amount of your energy, which will prevent you from doing your tasks as effectively as you would want to. This will also induce high levels of stress and irritability. When your body is under this much stress, it will affect your mental health as well, causing you more stress and anxiety. So, try correcting your sitting posture and you’d be surprised by how less stressed you are.
4. Digestive Issues
Having a desk job encourages your body to slouch or slump for extended hours each day. This, of course, can lead to shoulder, neck, or lower back pain, but it can also be the reason why you’re having digestive issues. When you’re slouching, your body applies pressure on your abdominal organs, and this includes your digestive system. This will constrict the digestive process as well as the bowel movement and might cause stomach aches and, at worst, cause other heart issues. Having incorrect posture while sitting can also be the main reason why you experience acid reflux or heartburn, so it’s best to avoid these complications by improving your posture.
As we’ve mentioned before, improper sitting can affect your energy; thus, increasing your stress levels. Due to these changes in your stress levels, your body will use its limited resources of energy and cause you to burn out quickly. So, stopping this chain reaction begins with a correct sitting posture. If you want your body to function to its fullest, simply sitting with a straight back might do the trick for you.
6. Poor Eyesight
Apart from your eyes not being leveled with the computer monitor, a bad posture can, surprisingly enough, affect your eyesight. Simply put, this happens because your eye nerves are connected to your spine. Slouching affects your spine, leading to lower back pain and misalignment of the spine. This can affect the nerve connection and blood flow to your eyes, causing you to squint, or resulting in a blurred vision.
It is important to know that these issues can be easily treated when your posture is corrected. However, if these results are so painful that they’re affecting your productivity, then you might want to seek physical therapy for more professional posture improvement. If you want to try home therapy, make sure to consult a professional to advise you on the best practices to follow.