Most people ask – what are the signs of bad posture? And may consider bad posture as just an aesthetic issue, but it can lead to some serious health problems.
A poor posture not only makes us appear less attractive but also significantly impacts health over the long run. Knowing the signs of bad posture and what you can do about it is important.
Here we’ll discuss some of the signs of bad posture and how you can correct them. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Bad Posture?
Bad posture is when the spine is not in a neutral alignment with the shoulder, neck, and back. When our spine is not in its natural shape, it put stress and pressure on the muscles and joints.
A bad posture can make your shape of spine go from a normal ‘S’ to ‘C’. The habit of poor posture can cause long-term problems with health.
If you are someone who spends most of their time looking at a screen or sitting at your desk, there is a high chance you have poor posture.
What Causes Bad Posture?
There are many causes of bad posture, and here we look at the most common:
Sitting at a desk – Technology has increased the number of desk jobs. Over the past decade, the number of people working from their computers has increased tremendously and it is not easy to sit straight throughout a full working day.
Eventually, we become tired and prefer to slouch on our desks or start bending in more comfortable positions. Not maintaining a proper sitting position while working will eventually start to cause issues.
Technology – Most of us spend at least two to three hours of our day using a device which is a cause of many problems, smartphones. We stare at our mobile phones constantly by keeping our heads at a sharp angle or necks bending forward. When not using mobile phones, we watch television by slouching on the sofa or half lying on the bed in the most uncomfortable position for our spine.
Injury – When we experience pain in some part of our body, we try to lessen the pain by keeping the body in a different position. When we suffer from an injury, the muscle around the injured area tends to spasm more. The muscles become weak, which may affect your posture.
Habit – A bad habit is always easier to make and harder to break. Some of us have a habit of standing or sitting in a certain way that affects our posture. For example, some people have the habit of looking at the ground when they walk, which is not a great posture position.
Fashion – We put a lot of pressure on our knees, ankle, and hips when we wear uncomfortable footwear like high heels. Heels put your body weight in the forward direction, which causes misalignment and strain on joints. Wearing heels regularly can make your posture worse.
Signs of Bad Posture
A person gets a rounded shoulder when the normal alignment of a body changes to a resting forward shoulder. The muscles in front of the shoulders come under stress and become tight, whereas the muscles of the back increase in length and become weak.
Daily tasks such as sitting at a desk, lifting heavy objects, driving for long hours, and using mobile phones can put a strain on the muscles of the neck, shoulder, upper back, etc.
How to fix it? – Exercises like stretching the chest and front shoulder help to fix the round shoulder posture.
Forward Head Carriage
Forward Head carriage is a bad neck posture that occurs due to leaning the head in a forward direction instead of neutral alignment with the spine. This posture is mainly associated with using a mobile phone or a computer, as the neck is slanted forward.
It creates a lot of strain on your neck muscles and also puts pressure on the cervical spine. One look around a train or a bus, and you’ll see dozens of people in this position.
How to fix it? – Get an ergonomic workplace and use your phone at eye level. Stretching and exercising will help to reduce stiffness in muscles and joints.
Also called Kyphosis is a condition when the spine in the upper back of your body is excessively curved. This also causes a hump on the back and people with this condition appear slouched and have rounded shoulders. The upper area of the spine, also referred to as the thoracic region, has a slight curve naturally.
In this condition, the curve is much more than normal. This is often associated with older people who appear to be permanently bent over.
How to fix it? – Physiotherapy, stretching and other exercise helps to improve this condition. Strengthening the muscles of the back can also treat kyphosis
This condition occurs when there is a misalignment of the pelvic bone with the pelvis, whereas ideally, the pelvic bone sits neutrally with the pelvis. Sitting for long hours at a desk creates tension in the hip flexors, which is from the lower back to the front hip. Tightness in the hip flexors makes the pelvis rotate in a forwarding direction which results in a tilted pelvic.
How to fix it? – Avoid sitting for long hours and take small breaks in between to move and stretch your body. Maintaining a proper posture of your back while sitting by keeping your feet on the floor.
People with poor posture habits are more prone to recurring headaches. Strain and tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulder result in headaches. The people who work in an office or from their desks tend to have overworked neck muscles which result in pain in the back of the skull, and sometimes the forehead.
How to fix it? – Move your neck around and stretch a little between work tasks. Massage and an ergonomic work area will also help to reduce strain on the neck and upper back.
Repeatedly having poor posture creates strain in the muscle which can result in pain in the upper back and neck. It becomes difficult to maintain a good posture while sitting for a longer period and people tend to slouch. Slouching causes stiffness in joints and tension in muscles which can cause pain in the upper back and neck.
How to fix it? – Exercising daily and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle will do wonders for your back/neck pain. If your job involves sitting at a desk for a long time, take a break to move around. Keep yourself aware of how you are sitting and maintain your posture properly.
Effects of Bad Posture on the Muscular and Skeletal Systems
From an early age, we have all been instructed to maintain a good posture as it concerns our health. Bad posture not only ruins your appearance but also creates misalignment in the spine which disrupts the musculoskeletal system.
Poor posture impacts muscles on the back and puts a strain on ligaments and joints. Bad posture makes your muscles in the back and neck do more work which creates tension and causes pain.
When there is an improper alignment in the spine, it affects the alignment of other bones and muscles in the body. Misalignment in the spine causes various problems in the skeletal system.
A bad posture also affects joints in the body. The joints in our body have connective tissue that acts as a cover to protect joints from movement. The amount of connective tissue in the joints depends upon the bearing capacity of the joints.
Poor posture puts stress on the joint more than it can bear. When joint bears stress on it more than its capacity, it causes pain and sometimes a long-term problem.
Osteoarthritis is caused by severe degradation of connective tissue between the joints. Bad posture disrupts the stress-bearing capacity and puts excessive pressure on the joints. This causes connective tissue to wear down, bringing bone-to-bone contact. The lack of connective tissue allows bones to rub against each other which results in pain.
While the effects of bad posture can often be reversed through physiotherapy and stretching, it is harder to correct if it has been a long-term issue. If you notice any signs of bad posture, you must take action immediately.
What are examples of bad posture?
A poor posture is defined as when a spine is not in proper alignment with the neck, shoulder, hip, or back. Forward head carriage, a hunched back, and a rounded shoulder, are some examples of bad posture. A bad posture comes into the picture when the neutral ‘S’ curve of the spine is out of alignment.
What are the main causes of bad posture?
Sitting for long hours at a desk causes many posture problems as it is difficult to sit straight for a long time. A sedentary lifestyle is also one of the main reasons for bad posture, as a lack of stretching and moving cause your muscles to tighten and joints to become stiff. Daily habits like too much screen time and slouching can also damage your posture.