The posture you have in the day to day life has a big impact on athletic performance, as well as on your mental and physical health. We are all told from a young age to not slouch and to stand up straight when walking, but so many people still do it throughout their adult life.
So why do people have a poor posture? Well, there are multiple reasons for this. Sometimes it’s because of accidents or injuries, other times it’s because of genetic factors, while other times it’s because of bad sitting habits. Just hunching over at a 60-degree angle to check your phone can put more than 60 lbs. of pressure on your cervical spine!
Other reasons include:
- Poor sleep support (a bad pillow or mattress)
- Being overweight
- Muscular imbalances
- Improper shoes
- Standing with a bad form
- Walking incorrectly
When people walk or stand incorrectly, bones and muscles line up incorrectly and eventually block the flow of the sciatic nerve. This can lead to sciatica, a painful and unpleasant condition.
The Main Cause of Poor Posture
But the main cause for poor posture is definitely prolonged sitting. A study held in 2012 found out that each week people spend around 28 hours standing, 11 hours lounging around and an astonishing 64 hours of sitting. The average of working out was just around 2 and a half hours per week.
So that means that people are sitting for about 9 hours each day, some even for more. And sitting for so long inevitably leads to slouching and poor posture. Even if you know how to sit perfectly, you won’t be able to hold that pose for 9 hours, and you will change positions, putting your back into awkward positions.
Slouching puts a lot of pressure on lower back muscles and the spine. Besides this, the hip flexors get tight, while the glutes become weak. Tight hip flexors limit the range of motion, while weak glutes can cause stability problems in the gym. So lots of hours of sitting on a chair can definitely affect performance when working out.
Not only the lower part of the body is affected, but so is the upper side. Most people keep their monitor or laptop way below their eye level, which makes them to constantly look down. As mentioned before, this puts a lot of pressure on the cervical spine, neck and shoulders. Then by going to the gym with these tight muscles and imbalances, people easily get injured.
Poor Posture Also Affects Your Heart
Dr. Joel Goldthwait noticed that the abdominal nerves and blood vessels are under tension in individuals with bad posture. Not only this, but he also found out that those people display various cardiac issues and impaired blood circulation.
So your poor posture directly affects how your body carries blood to all the major organs and muscles. A slow blood flow allows for fatty acids to clog the heart, which can then lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But it may also lead to varicose veins and even the formation of dangerous blood clots.
But This Is Not All
Poor posture has also been found to negatively affect digestion and breathing and puts a lot of strain on your heart. A study published in 2007 also found out that strain in the neck muscles may lead to higher blood pressure.
A poor blood circulation means that fewer nutrients flow to the brain, which impairs memory and concentration. And last but not least, all of these factors could lead to a stroke.
Not just physical health is affected by a poor posture, so is the mood. This study showed that people who had a good sitting posture had a better mood and a lower fear compared to slumped participants who had more negative emotions and a worse mood. So even when you are stressed, make sure to keep a good posture as this can improve your mood and self-esteem.
So a bad posture can damage joints, create muscular imbalances, stress organs, affect blood circulation and also create a bad mood. It’s clear that you need to take action right away, and we are here to help! We offer a wide variety of Yoga and Pilates programs, and we work with both professional athletes and regular people. After attending our classes, you will relieve stress, treat certain medical conditions, rehabilitate after injuries, have more mobility and a better posture. Check our website for more info and contact us today! The staff at the Abbysan Center will gladly assist you!