Whether it’s because of our day jobs with lots of sitting, heaps of time in transport or constantly checking our devices, poor posture is a big factor in most people’s lives these days, in particular poor head posture.
The physical effects of bad posture
Poor head posture can have lots of negative effects on our overall health. These include:
- Increased strain on our neck, back and shoulders
- Uneven alignment of our spine
- Uneven use of muscles surrounding these areas
Additionally, it can reduce lung capacity by up to 30%. This effects the efficiency of oxygen getting to the cells in our body!
The curve of our cervical vertebrae create the main route for spinal nerves that effect every organ, including the heart, so we need to treat them well. This is yet another reason to not spend so long on our phones!
The mental effects of bad posture
But it’s not just physical! Bad posture actually effects our mental health as well, increasing feelings of stress, lack of self confidence and lower self esteem!
A study in Brazil looked at posture in those with chronic depression and found that their forward head posture was more prominent than those without.
In another study in Health Psychology, participants were strapped into either slumped or straightened postures and the effect on their hearts and minds were studied. Result?
“The upright participants reported feeling more enthusiastic, excited and strong, while the slumped participants reported feeling more fearful, hostile, nervous, quiet, passive, dull, sleepy and sluggish.”
Those with good posture had higher self esteem, less social fear and fewer negative emotions, plus stronger pulses!
Next time you find yourself slouching remember the old advice and sit up straight!
Try sitting on a fit ball if you have an office job – it really reminds you to not slouch, or set reminders in your phone to improve until it becomes your normal.
Or try out some of these great neck stretches to build strength in your neck muscles and minimise slouching.
Get up often, assume your Wonder Woman or Superman pose and feel your power increase!