It turns out your mother was right all along about not slouching, and you definitely should have listened to her. Many scientific studies show that poor posture, like slouching or slumping your shoulders, adversely affects your general health besides merely looking bad. An American Chiropractic Association study revealed that 31 million Americans have poor posture. Everyone is prone to bad posture now and then, but the long-lasting damage happens when it becomes a habit. Below are some of the bad effects of poor posture on your health that should motivate you to sit or stand up straight at all times.
- Increased stress and depression
Several studies have established a solid link between posture and mood. Individuals who walk slouched over have a poorer self-image and feel more depressed. Slouching restricts blood flow throughout your body, obstructing proper cell oxygenation. In addition, your organs are crowded and unable to perform at an optimum level. Furthermore, if your body or spine is misaligned due to scoliosis and other causes of poor posture, the neural processes that maintain proper body functioning can become slower than usual. All these factors are bound to affect your mood, particularly if you aren’t exercising as often as you should.
- Sexual dysfunction
It is probably surprising to know that poor posture while sitting can negatively impact your sexual health and bladder function. Sacral or slumped sitting is particularly worse than other postures when it comes to men’s and women’s sexual functions. This reality is because sacral sitting shortens and tightens the pelvic floor muscles, the body’s primary sexual muscles responsible for stamina, sensation, and arousal. Weak pelvic floor muscles affect men and women’s sexual function in various negative ways. For instance, poor posture contributes to short and tightened pelvic floors, leading to problems lasting long during sex and weaker ejaculations. Females with tight pelvic floor muscles also experience weak orgasms. Finally, poor sitting posture can place excess pressure on your bladder, leading to frequent bathroom trips and incontinence in the worst cases.
Excellent posture is crucial to comfort and optimal physiological function. When your body is stable, supported, and well-aligned, segments work together, and energy levels are successfully managed. However, your body fights against its natural spinal alignment and movement when you have poor posture. The inefficient use of your body’s structure puts extra demand on it, causing your muscles to work harder, resulting in fatigue. In addition, your joints and ligaments experience additional stress when your posture is poor, contributing to muscle strain and joint pain.
- Impaired lung function
Bad posture can affect the air you take into your lungs when you breathe. When you constantly breathe from your chest with poor body posture, your lungs never fully inflate to provide your body with all the oxygen required for proper functioning. In addition, leaning forward all the time can adversely impact your lung function and capacity. Poorly functioning lungs can lead to shortness of breath, subpar cognitive function, and even heart disease.
Thank you for reading!