Growing up you’ve probably been told by your parents not to slouch. And for good reasons! Posture technically refers to how your spine is positioned when you’re sitting, standing, or lying down. Since gravity is always exerting a force on your joints, ligaments, and muscles, this alignment is crucial to avoid overstressing your musculoskeletal system (1).
Weak muscles, being overweight, improper sleeping position, stress, tight muscles, and slouching can all lead to poor posture. The longer you get into the habit, the harder it is to break. Eventually, poor posture can permanently damage your muscles and joints and cause chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain.
If you’re interested in learning about how to improve posture and avoid these problems, read on!
Why Is Posture Important?
Slouching isn’t sexy. In fact, it’s culturally associated with low self-esteem and frailty.
But poor posture also has pretty serious medical consequences too.
- Foot, knee, hip, and back injuries
- Muscle atrophy and weakness
- Difficulty breathing
- Digestion issues
- Impingement and nerve compression
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Poor circulation
- Muscle strain
- Poor digestion
- Higher risk of joint discomfort arthritis
- Shallow breathing
Since posture engages the back extensors, neck flexors, pelvic muscles, and side muscles, slouching is the first sign that these muscles are overworked, weak, or injured.
These muscles help keep your joints in perfect alignment and prevent injury to the spine and ligaments (5). They’re the first things that you should work on if you’re trying to learn how to have a better posture.