Bad posture, especially in today’s technological age, is impossible to escape. However, bad posture is more than a small daily issue. For both you and your patients, bad posture can have harmful effects. These are both negative effects on the body and the mind. In order to take care of yourself and give your patients the best care possible, it’s important to place emphasis on good posture. It may be tedious in the moment, but good posture will be beneficial in the long run! We’ve outlined eight negative effects of bad posture that are both immediate and gradual. Once you have all of the information about the negative effects of bad posture, you can focus on helping your patients to achieve great posture!
8 Negative Effects of Bad Posture
- Soreness & Pain
The most common negative effects of bad posture are soreness and pain. This pain can be in the back, neck, or shoulders. This pain is also the most noticeable side effect. Because the body is in a slouched position in bad posture, this position puts extra pressure and stress on the upper body. Lower back pain is the most common type of pain associated with bad posture, followed by the neck and shoulders. You can even have sore wrists if you have bad posture! Not only are these negative effects immediate, but they can also gradually lead to misalignment in the spine and joint pain. In order to combat this pain, encourage your patients to pull their head back. Usually, people will lean their neck forward, which puts undue stress on the neck.
- Poor Circulation
Bad posture can lead to poor circulation in the body. This is especially true when bad posture is combined with sitting down for a long time. When you are sitting, and closing off your body from proper blood flow, it can be detrimental to your health. Encourage patients to be active when they are sitting down, especially when they are at work. Remind them to make gradual posture changes throughout the day, stand up, stretch, and sit with their shoulders back. If they are slouched over a desk, they will have poor circulation and could even develop varicose veins.
- Negative Mood
As good posture helps prevent depression, bad posture invites it. A study published in the journal Health Psychology reports that individuals who sat with a slouched or slumped posture exhibited more fear, lower self-esteem, and worse moods than those who sat upright. More negative words were used than positive in the linguistic analyses. Not only can bad posture lead to depression, but good pressure can actively fight it and improve people’s moods. There has even been a study that found people with depression exhibited higher self-esteem after sitting with good posture.
- Increased Stress
Many researchers have conducted studies about the effects of bad posture on stress levels. When a person has bad posture, he or she is more likely to develop depressing feelings and lower energy levels. Because you are closing off your body from proper circulation when you have bad posture, you are also restricting bodily functions. These bodily processes slow down and ultimately leave you with depleted energy. This lack of energy translates into irritability and high stress levels. Not only will your mind be stressed by these slow processes, but so will your body. Some organs have to work extra hard when their person has bad posture, which puts undue stress on them. An important way to remedy these heightened stress levels is not only to change bad posture but also to exercise.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Since the nerves in the neck and upper back control muscle function in arms, wrists, and hands, bad posture can negatively affect these areas and cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Muscles can become tight and present numbness, tingling, or pain. Wrist posture can actually cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as well. Although it’s important to watch your upper body posture, hand posture (especially while typing) is important to think about.
- Less Motivation
Since one of the effects of bad posture is lower confidence, less motivation can also stem from bad posture. You may appear less confident or shy if you are slouching, which can affect both social and work situations. Less motivation also accompanies depression and fatigue, both of which are negative effects of bad posture.
- Poor Digestion
Bad posture is especially harmful to the body after you have eaten. This posture can trigger heart burn and acid reflux. When a person slouches, they put undue pressure on their back and subsequently the stomach. This pressure on the stomach is not healthy but is especially unhealthy while the stomach is trying to digest food. Digestion can be stunted and slowed with bad posture. Poor digestion can lead to other bodily issues, such as bowel movement issues and heart issues.
Because bad posture constricts the body, it can lead to depleted energy levels. Stress levels increase and subsequently strain the body. This strain leads to energy depletion and fatigue. This fatigue is apparent in the joints, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Contrary to what you might think, bad posture actually makes the body work more than good posture. If you have good posture, your body will work properly and be open for high-functioning processes. This will increase energy levels!
It’s important to know how best to help your patients. Be sure to stress the negative effects of bad posture and the positive effects of good posture to all of your patients! Browse our job postings today to find a great travel position.