We’ve all been caught slouching, hunching over our computer, or just not sitting/standing up straight. We know it’s not good for us, yet the majority of us don’t take any action to improve it. You may have read some of the benefits of good posture, but what about the negative effects of bad posture? There are probably countless times that your parents have told you to “sit up straight” or “straighten up.” They might still be saying that to you today. But have they ever told you why? If not, I will.
8 Negative Effects of Bad Posture
1. Soreness & Pain
Slouching isn’t a normal position for the body, and it causes our muscles to work harder. Soreness and pain are common effects of bad posture that are often overlooked, but it can lead to long-term health issues. Chronic pain can be a result of bad posture, especially in the lower back area. Poor posture puts a lot of stress on the spine and causes lower back pain.
2. Poor Circulation
Women are taught that crossing your legs is the “proper” way to sit. When actually, it increases the pressure of fluids and gasses moving through our bodies. Crossing your legs can also lead to lower back pain and spider veins if you don’t change this habit.
3. Negative Mood
As good posture fights 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.
4. Increased Stress
Increased physical and mental stress are two more negative effects of bad posture. Physical stress on the body causes soreness and pain, and can also translate into mental stress. In the study mentioned previously, the relationship between posture and stressful situations was observed. The study suggests, “sitting upright may be a behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress.” Bad posture can also decrease levels of testosterone and increase levels of cortisol.
5. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Since the nerves in your 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.
6. Less Motivation
Since one of the effects of bad posture is lower confidence, less motivation can also stem from bad posture. People will also see you as less confident or shy if you are slouching, which can affect both social and work situations. Less motivation also goes hand in hand with depression and fear, so it makes sense that it’s affected by posture.
7. Poor Digestion
Poor digestion is one of the negative effects of bad posture that often goes unrealized. When you slouch and hunch over, your organs bunch up together. This makes it harder for the body to digest food and can lead to constipation. It can also impact your metabolism and ultimately damage your bodily processes to consume and process food, leading to life-altering metabolic issues.
When you have poor posture, the body works harder to keep you upright, and you’ll be left feeling tired. Upright is the normal position of the body, so your body is constantly trying to get it back to where it’s supposed to be. So, to do this, the body requires more energy, which will lead you to feelings of fatigue.