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It’s not uncommon nowadays to spend much of your day slouched in front of a television, hunched over a laptop or seated behind a desk for hours. For this reason, our posture — or the way we carry our bodies, stationary and mobile — can suffer greatly.
It’s important to recognize the dangers of consistent poor posture on your physical well-being and how to correct the issue before it has a serious impact on your health.
Detecting Incorrect Posture and the Risks
So how does one know that he or she has bad poise? Numerous signs point to poor posture aside from hunched shoulders or how tall you sit. These include back and shoulder pain, frequent headaches or migraines, noticeably reduced lung function, difficulty sleeping as well as stress and anxiety.
Effects of bad posture can also manifest in the gastrointestinal processes, causing an upset stomach and abdominal pain during digestion or constipation.
In addition to these symptoms, there are many risks to poor posture on one’s overall health. Increased stress on your joints and malalignment can worsen arthritis and cause pain. Spine misalignment can also be an issue. It may cause jaw pain in the form of the temporomandibular syndrome (known as TMJ). Poor circulation from incorrect poise can contribute to high blood pressure or even heart disease.
How Can I Improve My Posture?
Luckily, bad posture is not irreversible. A change in habits can go a long way in correcting this problem before it becomes a domino effect of health issues. For one, mindfulness is key. Training yourself to be aware of how you sit, stand, walk and sleep is a great place to start. Pay attention to the position of the hips in a chair or where the feet are on the floor when you sit.
Learn how to relax the shoulders and arms when standing still. Additionally, be more cognizant of how long you’re sitting in one place. Recognize when you need to move your body or take a walk.
Introduce flexibility exercises into your daily routine, such as yoga or regular stretching. If your discomfort becomes unmanageable, know when to consult a professional, such as a chiropractor for adjustments or a physical therapist.
Practicing better habits when it comes to how you physically carry yourself plays a crucial role in many of the body’s operations and functions. Read more about some of the best methods for correcting one’s posture in the resource below.
This infographic was created by Metro Physical & Aquatic Therapy, a provider of virtual physical therapy