Research suggests that the average person spends around 12 hours a day sitting.
This ‘sitting disease’ maligns health and is a leading global risk factor to mortality. In fact, millions die prematurely because of physical inactivity. While you sit comfortably on your couch watching your favourite Netflix series every night, or lounging in your executive chair while doing your office work for nine straight hours, plus overtime, all week long, you are increasing your chances of getting certain health conditions that might cost you your life.
It is not just the sitting lifestyle that causes death rates to rise every year. Poor posture from sitting causes the same headache to medical practitioners. People, you and I included, are guilty of sacrificing posture for convenience. After all, you spend more than half of your time awake sitting at home, in the office and even while commuting inside your car or on public transport. You are more inclined to choose convenience over posture just so you can survive the long hours of butt work.
Unsurprisingly, though, there are health dangers to poor posture, some of which are more severe than other bad habits that are so hard to break. Here is a list of health risks, apart from the usual back pain, caused by slouching.
- Heartburn: Sounds odd? Yes, but it is true. Posture is not just about sitting upright. It actually helps with several functions of the body, including digestion. When the body is in a hunched or forward leaning position, it disrupts the regular process of digesting food by reducing the space for organs to function. Hence, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn occurs.
- High Blood Pressure: Posture plays a vital role in breathing and circulation. Blood pressure is all about blood circulation. A bad posture increases your blood pressure because of poor circulation. You can have a higher chance of hypertension with slouching than any other cause. Also, poor posture can cause blood constriction, leading to varicose veins and blood clots.
- Constipation: If you are having toilet problems, then bad posture may have contributed to it. Posture influences body movements and a bad one may impede the natural movement of your intestines, which makes it difficult for the organs to digest food.
- Headaches: Troubled by headaches? Throbbing sensation in the skull? If you are slouching, you can expect this to be one of the culprits. Research shows that poor posture causes tension in the shoulders, neck and upper back which may result in headaches.
- Others: Apart from those mentioned above, bad posture can also lead to negativity and stress, stress incontinence, digestion problems, and worsens arthritis, fatigue, and jaw pain.
Military training, or similar exercise programmes, can greatly aid you by helping to adjust your posture, stay away from injuries or medical conditions, and maintain a fit body. Here are some military-style exercises you can try at home, or actually experience if you plan on entering the armed forces.
- Glute Stretches: The glute muscle supports the pelvis and hips, and helps maintain proper posture. You can try stretches to strengthen your glute muscle. Sample exercise includes seated spinal twist, where one leg is placed on the sit-bone of the opposite side while sitting.
- Hip Stretch: This exercise aids in loosening hip flexors to avoid tight hips, which causes bad posture and leads to problems with the lower back, the hamstrings and glutes.
- Glute Bridge: The glute bridge is another way to strengthen the butt muscles as well as the hip muscles, hamstrings, and lower back muscles. This exercise also aid in stabilising the spinal cord. You can expect a more toned and firm backside with regular glute bridge exercises.
It is not too late to fix your posture. As soon as possible, solve this problem or it will trouble you for the rest of your life.
Do not be afraid to seek help, it is the best thing you can do to take care of your health. Dial a doctor to seek medical attention or search “chiropractor near me” on the Internet to improve posture.
The earlier you correct your slouching, the sooner you will feel better and prevent any health issues that slouching may exacerbate.