Bad sitting posture is one of the major causes of health problems among Americans. Not only does this lead to neck pain and back problems, it also causes headaches, breathing difficulties and problems with balance. That’s not all. As per research, bad posture also affects the quality sleep, mood, energy levels, and jaw alignment.
Here are a few problems linked to bad posture that might leave a person surprised:
If a person has been leaking a little urine whenever they cough or laugh, they may associate their problem with poor posture. Slouching increases the pressure on the abdomen, which can in turn put pressure on the bladder. As a result, the pelvic floor muscles may fail to hold against that pressure, leading to incontinence.
Most people sit hunched over on a toilet, with their knees lower than their hips. This can lead to constipation. By partially closing the anus, this position can make it tough for the abdominal muscles to push out the feces. As a result they may have to strain to pass bowels and struggle with a sense of incomplete evacuation. Passing dry, hard stools less than three times a week can be painful and uncomfortable.
Slow digestion with heartburn
It is very important to sit in the right position after taking a meal. Slouching after a meal, can force your stomach acid to move back into the esophagus, causing heartburn. This can also put pressure on the abdominal muscles, thereby slowing down the transit in the intestines. With the process of digestion slowing down, an individual might feel lethargic throughout the day, which can lead to even more health problems.
If a person thinks they are having problems because of their poor posture, make it a point to see a physical therapist. They might be advised to do some exercises and stretches to strengthen their core muscles (the ones in the abdomen, back, and pelvic floor) that support the spine. Gradually, these muscles will become more flexible, making it easy for them to move around. Here is one such exercise to try:
Sit on a strong chair or a stability ball with your feet apart. The distance between the feet should match with your hip width.
Keep the hands at the side of the body.
As exhaling lift up the left hand and right knee towards the ceiling.
Come back to the starting position as inhaling.
Repeat this exercise 10 times.
After 10 times repeat the process with the right hand and left knee.
Another way to correct seating posture is to use a lumbar or low back pillow that will remind the user to sit upright. Keep changing position once every 30 or 60 minutes. Make it a point to take occasional breaks and walk around.
The spine should ideally be in a neutral, upright position, at all times. It should not be flexed too forward or backward. The knees should be parallel to or higher than the hips, for better blood circulation. Proper spine alignment will help reduce the pressure on the abdominal muscles, thereby speeding up your digestion process.
Getting a height adjustable desk might work wonders for a person with posture issues, when it comes to correcting sitting posture. These desks can be adjusted based on the height of the chair and the activity that is being done, be it working on a laptop or eating food. See more here.