If we knew that bad posture negatively impacted our health so much we probably wouldn’t slouch as often. Bad posture causes your body to have to do what it does normally, just with less flow and ease. Bad posture corrupts the dignity of different areas of our body because it’s not aligned in a way for it to work best. Think of your posture like a small tree just planted. If the tree is planted sideways facing the ground, or even at a 45 degree angle somewhat facing the sky and somewhat facing the ground what do you think will happen? it won’t grow as effectively as the tree planted properly with it’s roots grounded in the soil facing up.
Our body is a lot like that tree. When our posture isn’t erect and upright our whole body can not grow, thrive and flow in the way it was intended. We’ve all seen the old person walking down the street with a hunchback permanently hunched over because of bad posture. This isn’t surprising though, we know that bad posture can lead to having a curved back, neck and spine as we age. We want to avoid this obviously because it’s not an easy way to live and it severely inhibits movement which you desperately want as you age. Bad posture leads to other health effects beyond looks and mobility that can be more serious.
3 Surprising Side Effects Of Bad Posture
1. Puts You in A Bad Mood: Bad posture has been shown to make you grouchy and more depressed than those that have good posture. A study from San Francisco State University showed that those who walked down the hall in a slouched position had more feelings of depression and lower energy levels than those who skipped. This was an odd study (in my eyes) because comparing slouching to skipping seems like a no-brainer but I would venture to say that walking puts you in a better and more energetic mood than slouching too. Our physiology tells us how we are feeling and we can control our posture to change our physiology and in tern how we feel. Not only that but bad posture effects how people see you, and not in a positive way. So if you want to have success in your relationships and career having good posture can go a long way.
2. Can Cause Constipation: When you sit in a crouched position your intestines are essentially more folded up which restricts bowel movements. I find this really interesting because squatting actually opens your intestines and increases bowel movements so one small change from being crouched to squatting is a good thing for your digestive system as well as strengthening your back and spine.
3. Negatively Affects Circulation & Nervous System: When you sit in a slouched position or even have bad posture while standing you negatively affect your circulatory system and nervous system. The more erect you are the better your posture can allow for blood-flow as well as open nerves to your entire your entire nervous system. Your nerves give your body the signals it needs to move with grace and ease and your circulation carries important nutrients and oxygen to repair and heal your entire body. Bad posture leads to a weaker nervous system and poor circulation which leads to more inflammation, pain, aches, stiffness and tightness in your muscles and joints. This ages you faster and causes you to not enjoy life and living as much.
Your health, mood, physical appearance, and success in work and relationships are all influenced by your posture.
What can you do to improve your posture?
Other than sitting up straight and standing up straight which we all know improve our posture we can actually do several things to rejuvenate our posture as well both physically and nutritionally to support these changes.
* Get A Yoga Swing or Inversion Table: An inversion table or a yoga swing are both great tools to stretch your spine and really loosen up your joints and increase circulation. I own an inversion table but if I knew about yoga swings I would have preferred a yoga swing over an inversion table because you can do a bit more with them. They are both great tools though to decompress your spine and reverse gravity in your favor. Hanging upside down and stretching your spine helps decompress and circulation in a very effective way and instead of gravity aging you it defies that and uses it in your favor. You can search amazon for a yoga swing or inversion table here.
* Practice Yoga: Yoga is one of the best practices to rejuvenate posture and strengthen your nervous system throughout your back and spine. Yoga is the best practice on the planet that specifically tailors to posture and strengthening your back and spine. More intense forms of yoga such as bikram yoga can really restore bad posture but make sure to take it easy and not push yourself too hard, this can lead to injury. Restorative yoga is also a great form of yoga to inspire positive postural changes.
* Enjoy The Sauna: Heat has a loosening affect on your body and helps to relax you so that you can really stretch out. Heat also loosens up your body and connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons etc.) which help to allow you to stretch them safer and more effectively while preventing injury. I recommend going in the sauna and doing some restorative yoga poses and stretches to loosen up your back and extend your spine.
* Stand Up While Working: This has been a practice i’ve been engaging in more of as of late and I really love it. I work on the computer and while writing I can find myself and my posture slouching. If i’m standing (as I am now) I have better posture and am strengthening my back and spine which strengthens my posture throughout the day instead of weakening it. There are now stand up desks as well as treadmill desks. They are quite pricey but you can always build your own or make a make-shift one somehow!
* Take Loosening Minerals: Minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium help to relax and ease tension caused by bad posture. This is important because when you start to loosen up tension it allows your body more fluidity and flexibility to practice postural rejuvenation practices such as yoga or stretching in the sauna. I recommend getting a trans-dermal magnesium spray from omica organics and having someone spray this on your back, neck and entire spine.
* Rub These Essential Oils On Your Spine: Essential oils have an amazing effect when applied topically to your neck, back and spine. The right oils have a relaxing (then rejuvenating) effect on your nervous system all throughout your back. This is good because if you can relax your nerves you will fall into a deeper state of relaxation to allow for more posture rejuvenation effects. Peppermint and Eucalyptus are great. These both work very well to relax and relieve tension from bad posture which helps you in the first step to rejuvenate your posture. Not only do you get the benefits that but having these oils is a great excuse for your partner to give you a massage and rub them in! (Free massage anyone?)
You’ll notice that a lot of postural rejuvenation starts with relaxing and reducing stress. Bad posture typically stems from stress, tension and work. When you relax and ease into an at ease state your body can stretch, spread out and gain a stronger and healthier posture again. Using relaxants and stress relief practices such as minerals and essential oils paired with practical stretching movements such as yoga, sauna stretching and hanging upside down to decompress the spine are all beneficial practices to rejuvenate your health, posture and help you feel and stand taller!
I hope this adds value to your life and helps you feel healthier!