Bad posture is a common problem that affects many people. In the course of our daily activities, we tend to take different styles of posture: while sitting, standing, and walking. In most cases, we are too busy to care more about the posture we take, be it good or bad.
While some poses are healthy, others are not; bad posture occurs when your body is placed in certain positions, which could distort its normal structure, resulting in musculoskeletal disorder. When this position is taken regularly for a long time, the body tissue tends to be stressed and adapts to the new structure.
Since bad posture doesn’t occur within minutes or hours but rather takes after a long time of consistent habit, it implies a bad posture could be corrected if detected early enough. In today’s article, we talk about bad body posture, its types, causes, effect, and tips on maintaining a good posture.
Types of bad posture
There exist four types of bad posture and are categorized by the affected area of the body.
1. Kyphosis: this occurs when the upper back region takes a round form in a forward position, appearing like a bump. This posture could be due to strenuous activities that require you to curve your shoulders or a regular sitting position that involves curving your spine while you lean forward.
2. Swayback posture: this could be regarded as the reverse of the first type, where the spine at the pelvic (waist) region is inclined forward, while the upper area (shoulder) Is slanted backwards. This could also be as a result of inappropriate sitting position, or carrying weights which could cause intense tension and uneven distribution of the body weight.
3. Hyperlordosis: also known as lumbar lordosis, could best be described as having the stomach inclined forward in a pronounced manner, and the best part of the body seems upright.
4. Forward head posture: This is a posture where the neck slants forward, positioning the head an inch after the first neck vertebra; this makes the head lose vertical alignment with the shoulders. This posture is on the increase due to the excessive use of digital devices.
Common causes of bad posture
Different things could cause poor posture; if you’ve suffered from past skeletal injuries causing a shift in the limbs, you might exhibit a bad posture. Also, if the nature of your job restricts you from taking a particular position for an extended period, your body beings to adapt to that position causing a bad posture. Carrying a heavyweight on your back regularly, such as a heavy backpack to school every day, could cause stress to ease this tension, you may frequently take a wrong posture.
Furthermore, bad habits, such as slouch sitting could also lead to poor posture. People often tend to sit on a chair diagonally, tilting themselves backwards without having the back relax properly. This sitting posture causes strain on the back, and if taken regularly, the body gets accustomed to that posture. Lastly, the increasing use of digital devices could also result in poor posture as users tend to assume any position which might feel comfortable while using the device, even if it causes pain them to feel pain.
Effects of bad posture
Posture defect can badly affect the life of a person, as it is detrimental to their health, social, and mental well-being.
Bad posture or slouching could lead to pain and tension in the body, especially in the neck, shoulders, upper back, and lower back. If you regularly sit in one position while taking a poor posture, you’re put yourself at risk of developing circulation problems. Taking a wrong sitting posture for hours obstruct the free flow of air and blood around the body, and put vital organs at risk. It also makes you vulnerable to varicose veins.
Furthermore, slouching compress the abdominal organs, including your digestive tract; this could cause difficulties in food digestion and negatively affect your body’s metabolism and its ability to process foods properly, which may result in a nutritional deficiency.
Lastly, the long-term impact of bad posture can cause the spine and other bones to misplace their position. This is due to the contact created between your skeletal system and its surrounding nerves. This contact could cause the bone to pinch the surrounding nerves and lead to pain in different body parts.
1. It lowers self-esteem: People with bad posture often get body shamed by others; this could make them think less of themselves. This harms their self-esteem and could affect their performance at work, school, and other social gatherings
2. It gives a false message: The same way the type of clothes and accessories you wear can make people assume your financial status; bad posture could also create a false impression in the minds of people, causing them to body shame or treat you in a certain way. People who have their gait circle compromised may often walk awkwardly and be referred to as “Duck feet,” Those who exhibit inappropriate sitting posture may often be seen as mannerless.
Tips on improving your posture
Habits and lifestyles are difficult to change, but with time, commitment, and consistency, it is achievable. Stand upright and tall would help; whenever you notice you are in a wrong posture, consciously try to correct your position. If you suffer from lumbar lordosis, you may want to try to pull in your stomach continually; engaging in abs exercise could also help correct this disorder.
When you want to sit, try to maintain an upright position, using backrests and armrest would also help you maintain a good sitting posture. Try not to carry heavy things, and if you must carry a load, try to reduce the weight or seek assistance. If you are fond of leaning on one leg, try to distribute your body weight evenly on both when next you are standing. To maintain good body shape and posture, try to engage in regular exercise that involves all body parts.
Your posture speaks a lot about you; it is an integral part of your life that needs to be maintained. If you notice you exhibit a bad posture early enough, try to pay attention to the issue and work on making it better. Give yourself time and don’t be too hard on yourself, with time, you can reverse the posture back to normal just as it took time to become a defect.