I remember my mom always on me about sitting up straight on my chair and not looking down when I was walking. I thought this was just because it didn’t look good so I listened. However many people don’t listen and work 8+ hours at a computer with bad postural habits.
Slouching is bad for you. It’s bad not only for your physical health because your spinal muscles send messages back to the brain and these are altered with misalignments, but also for your emotional well being as well.
Sitting with your computer eye level instead of looking down is helpful. Sitting to standing desks help but you still need to be conscious of how you are standing and how you are sitting.
Poor posture may not get you right away but in time it can cause back and neck pain, muscle fatigue, breathing limitations, arthritic joints, digestive problems and mood disturbances. It can also create a bad impression when interviewing for a job, meeting new people and other people’s impressions of you when watching you move about.
Researchers have shown that poor posture can even leave you vulnerable to street crime. Many years ago it was shown in a study where women who walked sluggishly with head and eyes on the ground were much more likely to be mugged than those who walked briskly and purposely with head pointed forward and looking alert.
We have gravity pushing on our body at all times. If not aligned properly certain muscles will have to work harder than others to keep us upright. This leads to muscle exhaustion and discomfort.
In a study performed on 110 students at SFU in San Francisco. 50% of the students were told to walk slumped and the others were told to skip while walking down the hall, the skippers had a lot more energy throughout the day.
Any repetitive or prolonged position “trains” the body’s muscles and tendons to shorten or lengthen. This puts a lot of stress on your joints and can reshape them until they are retrained again. Just as walking in high heels can shorten the plantar fascia and achilles tendon, slouching while sitting for hours or standing will eventually lead to permanently rounded shoulders and upper back which I am sure if you live in Slicon Valley, you see a lot of.
Although early humans spent most of their waking hours walking, running and standing, today in developed countries, 75 percent of work is performed while sitting. Then after work, people either take work home and are on the computer or watch television seated so more hours with slouching. The more you live a sedentary life, the easier it is to have body discomfort.
“Text neck,” a term coined by a Florida chiropractor, Dean L. Fishman, is a repetitive stress injury resulting from hours spent with the head positioned forward and down while using electronic devices. This leads to tight muscles in the back of the neck and upper back. People who lean forward while sitting may be inclined to clench their jaws and tighten their facial muscles, causing headache and TMJ.
Leaning forward or slouching can also reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent (this may be why there is a rise in C-paps). This reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, according to Dr. Rene Cailliet, a pioneer in the field of musculoskeletal medicine.
Additionally, slouching or sitting in a rounded position compresses the abdominal organs putting stress on them and decreasing normal digestion and bowel function.
Improving posture requires a conscious effort and often strengthening and flexibility exercises to correct muscular imbalances, according to Nick Sinfield, a British physiotherapist. For example, exercises that strengthen the core, buttocks muscles and back extensors help correct a slouching posture, he said.
So, in conclusion, the habits your mom instilled in you as a child can be helpful to your body and mind.