The way you hold yourself when you stand or sit affects more than the way you look. It can have a direct impact on your health.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t actively think about our posture during the day. We go with whatever feels natural.
This strategy, however, is a bad idea. Posture is way more important than you think and can affect your health in multiple ways. Here’s how.
We typically think of arthritis as a disease of aging. But evidence from Arthritis UK suggests that people with poor posture are also at risk.
According to the research, the way that people sit or stand can contribute to their likelihood of developing the condition. Holding the body in certain positions can put joints under increased pressure, increasing the overall level of inflammation.
The good news, though, is that posture is entirely “modifiable.” As AposTherapy points out, there are hundreds of people all over the world who have already improved their posture with proven techniques. So, even if you notice a problem with the way you walk, you can correct it.
According to the data, poor posture can lead to mental and physical stress. Putting extra strain on your muscles, tendons, and bones can create soreness, which then manifests as psychological strain. TIME magazine, for instance, reported on a 2014 study that shows that people who had poor posture suffered worse moods than the general population.
Problems With Digestive Health
The health of the digestive tract is vital for maintaining the overall health of the body. But people with poor posture can experience gastrointestinal issues.
Stomach problems, like acid reflux, are common. And so too are things like constipation.
Researchers think that the reason for this comes down to the effects of slouching on the stomach. People who slump in their chairs or walk hunched over provide their stomachs with less room to carry out their vital functions. The result is slower transit of food through the digestive tract and more related issues.
Ankle, Knee And Hip Pain
The ankles, knees, and hips have to support the full weight of the body, day in, day out. They are, therefore, the most prone to problems, especially if there’s a problem with our gait.
Evolution created these joints to work in a specific way. Poor posture, however, changes the biomechanics, putting additional strain on tissues not designed to cope with it. Eventually, they fail, and pain ensues.
Again, the key to resolving this is to work on your posture. The more that you can retrain your body to walk in the correct fashion, the better. It can require retraining, but the effort is worth it.
Finally, there’s growing evidence that poor posture can impact how well you sleep. According to the leading physical therapy researchers, the body has to work harder and expend more energy when fighting poor posture habits. That requires more energy, leaving people feeling physically and mentally exhausted. Plus, pain at night can keep people awake, interrupting sleep.
Thank you for reading!