When you stop being a slouch about your posture, you could benefit from better health. Standing up straight is commonly emphasized for reasons of appearance, but the benefits are not purely cosmetic. The Kansas Chiropractic Foundation lists a litany of general problems caused by poor posture. It turns out that slumped position is affecting your muscles, joints, digestion, and energy.
Energy levels can drop and fatigue can set in because your muscles are working harder to keep your slouched stance. This can lead to pain and muscle stiffness later in life, and potentially arthritis. All of this can reduce your range of motion, too. Muscles change to fit the hunched posture: they either shorten or lengthen. As a result, they cease to function as they should.
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is a major health issue associated with poor posture. The Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide states that most people develop back pain as a result of everyday life — although for some, it does develop as the result of an injury. To minimize back pain, general fitness is recommended, but the best practice is good posture.
Bad posture isn’t necessarily a conscious decision, and environment can be a factor contributing to how you sit and stand. Hunching over at your desk all day, staring down at smartphones and tablets, and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle are habits that have slipped into society and are pieces of the posture problem. The good news is that you can fix your less-than-straight spine. The bad news is that unlike the practices that lead to it, correction needs a conscious effort.