The Side-Effects and Solutions of Poor Posture
In this modern world, we are seeing more and more jobs where the majority an employee’s work is done on the computer. Even people who don’t have a desk job might find themselves spending a lot of time at home looking like these figures to the right. You might have heard the term “tech neck” already.
Posture is more important to overall health than we may give it credit for. A couple years ago I noticed I was having some intense neck and back pain, as well as wrist pain. After some research and talks with my doctor, I learned it was 100% related to my posture at work, and that bad posture can even contribute to a lot of other bad side effects. Staring at screens is still a relatively new thing for humans, and we aren’t exactly built for it.
So even if you don’t have an office job, this can also be applied to you for whatever you do that could involve long term bad posture as well, such as sitting at home watching TV, playing on a computer, playing video games, or scrolling on your phone.
Some side effects of doing all that with bad posture include bad posture include:
BACK, NECK, AND SHOULDER PAIN
Bad posture can cause tension and pain in your neck, upper back, lower back, and shoulders.
The long-term impact of poor posture can cause your spine and other bones to shift their position. Your skeletal system starts coming into contact with your surrounding nerves, “pinching” them. The “pinched” nerves can lead to back and neck pain, and in other parts of your body. It’s a can vary from very annoying to sometimes debilitating pain.
When if you perform most of your everyday activities with bad body mechanics or are stressed or injured in any way, you could end up with spinal misalignment and muscle spasm. Bad posture can distort these natural curves of your spine, affecting your whole body and causing an array of issues.
By sitting with poor posture all day, you’re keeping your body from obtaining the necessary circulation it requires. Poor posture can also make you vulnerable to varicose veins. Crossing your legs can especially exacerbate this.
IMPAIRED LUNG FUNCTION
When you are slouching in in, you aren’t taking deep breath. When your lungs aren’t functioning as they should be, your brain, heart and other vital organs won’t get the oxygen they need.
This could lead to shortness of breath, poor cognitive function and even heart and vascular disease. It can also even affect your mood and energy level. You might notice you are a lot more motivated and relaxed when you are able to take deep breaths rather than short shallow ones.
When you slouch, you compress your abdominal organs, including your digestive tract. Doing this can over time, negatively impact your metabolism and your ability to process foods properly
HEADACHE AND JAW PAIN
When you have poor posture, you might spend a great deal of time leaning forward, possilby on your hand, making it more likely you’ll clench your jaw. By clenching your jaw, you’re causing your facial muscles to tighten, resulting in jaw pain and headaches.
TOO MUCH SITTING
A common problem we see now days with both tech at home and at work is too much sitting. I think we’ve all found ourselves at work composing a long assignment, or in a Pinterest or Facebook scroll, only to look up and realize several hours have passed and we haven’t moved.
Too much sitting alone can cause it’s own host of problems. Just a few of them include:
- High blood pressure,
- Heart disease,
- High cholesterol,
- Even cancer
- There is a reason they call sitting the new smoking.
To help avoid these bad side effects, start adopting proper computer posture.
- The positioning of the computer should be such that the eyes are directly on the screen and you need not tilt your head up or down to maintain contact with the screen. Try putting a couple books under your monitor if you have to.
- The next important thing is that the level of seat should be set at a level where your eyes can reach the screen of the computer as well as your hands comfortably access the keyboard almost parallel to the floor.
- Feet should be in contact with the floor at all times. They should preferably be kept flat on the floor. The feet should not be kept hanging as it put stress on the lower back causing stress and eventually pain.
Other tips to avoid bad tech side effects:
- Whether at work or at home on your devices, take a break from sitting every 30-60 minutes. Even a quick walk around the desk can help. Take a walk to the water cooler.
- Stand while talking on the phone or watching television.
- Do some stretching exercise throughout the day.
- Try to get a cordless desk phone that can let you do this at work if you can. You can get a lot of steps while on the phone.
- If you work at a desk, try a adjustable standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter. There are certain places where this can be considered a work purchase. That may or may not apply to you, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Get more walking done outside the office.
- Try walking to work if you can.
- Park further away at the store.
- Take the dogs for more walk.
- Eat and walk at lunch.
- Use the stairs.
You’ve heard the tips before, so the real trick is to just try to be mindful on days you are sitting a lot and implement them.