Bad posture at work is a common and serious problem which can affect a person in negative ways. It can give rise to several physical and mental health issues, which need to be understood. It is equally important to know how to improve bad posture, to be able to avoid unnecessary complications.
How Can Bad Posture at Work Affect You?
Being designed to move around, the human body is just not made to sit on a chair for several hours for long. Hence, a desk job of sitting in one place whole day long, particularly in a bad posture can cause a variety of complications which can become worse with time. People having a bad posture at work need to appreciate how bad posture can affect you, why it should be improved and how to improve it?
Bad Posture at Work Increases Stress and Depression
Several studies have revealed that people who own bad posture, be it while walking, standing or sitting, often experience reduced energy levels, with increased depression. Also, these people were found to be far more stressed and anxious as compared to those who owned a good posture.
When the body is constricted and bent, it is unable to work optimally, which can affect you and cause depression. Also, being seated in one place for long inhibits the internal processes, causing a decrease in energy. Bad posture at work, not only increases stress and depression, but can also make you feel tired, anxious and irritable.
Bad Posture at Work Can Cause Digestion Problems
Indigestion is one of the major ways in which bad posture at work affects you. When you sit in a bad posture at work, digestion of food becomes difficult, which can also affect absorption and normal motility of the bowels. This can further cause difficulty in regular bowel movements, constipation and increased risk of acid reflux and hernia like problems.
A Belly Pouch Can Result from Bad Posture
Bad posture at work, poor sitting habits and slouching can affect your shape as it causes the viscera to push against the walls of the abdomen giving rise to a belly pouch. If you want to lose some inches on your waist and want to prevent a belly pouch, practice sitting straight while at work or even at home.
Poor Posture at Work Makes the Muscles Sore
When sitting in a slouched position at work, the muscles work harder than before to protect the spine and stabilize it. This extra work can tighten the muscles, increase fatigue and make them completely sore preventing a person from performing day-to-day activities. Bad posture can make muscles sore, cause pain and affect daily activities.
Poor Postures at Work Causes Body Pain
The most common areas affected by bad posture at work are neck, back and shoulders. These areas are sensitive and can pain immensely in the long run or can be damaged permanently. The upper body experiences a great deal of stress from bad posture at work due to lack of appropriate support. Another negative aspect of bad posture at work is spine misalignment which can damage the back bone completely. Stress in the tissues surrounding the joints and pain in neck and back muscles can also be a result of bad posture at work.
Poor Posture at Work Causes Poor Breathing
The rib cage and the diaphragm, need to expand completely for the lungs to function well, for which good posture is essential. Bad posture at work can make normal breathing difficult, affect blood circulation and distribution of oxygen to different parts of the body. When engaging in physical activity of any sort, one must never own a bad posture as the body requires more oxygen to meet the increased physical demands of the body.
Bad Posture at Work Can Cause Headache
People who own a bad posture at work complain of far more headaches as compared to those who sit in good posture. When in a bad posture, the muscles gets strained and tensed, which strain the spine, shoulders or neck and result in headaches. Also, obese people may experience more headaches due to bad posture at work.
Bad Posture at Work Can Increase Risk of Lifestyle Disease
As bad posture influences blood circulation, breathing and can cause body pain, it can increase the risk of many lifestyle disorders. Bad posture at work has been related to severe health problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure. Also, a recent American survey revealed that people who own a bad posture at work and at home suffer from a reduced life expectancy by almost 20 percent.
Bad Posture at Work Can Cause Varicose Veins
Varicose or spider veins are a condition where the veins become enlarged and gnarled and it most commonly appears in the feet and legs. It is often the result of bad posture. Sitting in a bad posture at work, exerts pressure on the veins and prevents proper blood circulation in the body, which can result in such problems.
Poor Performance Due to Bad Posture at Work
Apart from the physical and mental strain that bad posture at work can cause, you also need to be careful about your work performance. Poor posture can create a negative impact on those working with you and other may perceive you to be unmotivated, always tired and disinterested at work. This can result in lesser opportunities and chances are that you may be considered as not as fit and incompetent.
Useful Tips on How to Improve Posture at Work
Even if you have been suffering from bad posture previously and have been in the habit of sitting in a constrained or slouched manner, it is never too late to improve your posture and do away with all the complications that bad posture brings with it. Here are some extremely useful tips on how to improve posture easily.
- Creating a Good Environment for Sitting Helps Improve Posture at Work - Ensure that the chair you sit in at work all day long is perfect for you and it provides you with all the support you need. An ideal chair would be of such a height that when you sit in front of your computer, its screen is exactly at eye level. Also make sure that the desk is neither too high nor too low and you can rest your elbows on it easily. Alternately, you can buy an ergonomic chair for yourself which comes without a back rest and trains you to sit upright without slouching. In short, improve your work station mechanics to help improve your posture.
- Keeping Your Core Tightened Helps Improve Posture at Work– When you sit at your desk; tighten your core for as long as possible. Your core is basically the abdominal muscles. When you tighten the core, it helps you stay in good posture and also helps you maintain an upright position. Every time you think of slopping or slouching, simply focus on the core and tighten it completely to come back to good posture. You can strengthen your core by practicing lower back, abdominal and oblique exercises regularly. This is a great way to improve posture.
- Stretching From Time to Time Helps Improve Posture at Work– If your work is such that you are confined to the chair all day long, make it a point to get up once every half an hour or one hour and stretch the body. This will provide the body with the oxygen it needs and also give the body a break. If possible, try to walk for 5 to 10 minutes before and after your lunch break. Bad posture can be improved by being active and alert.
- Lose Those Extra Pounds – People who are overweight experience an increased pressure in the body and tend to own a very bad posture at work. Exercise every day and eat healthy to get rid of those extra pounds. Manage your weight and improve your posture, while being fit and healthy.
- Invest in a Good Mattress – Bad posture at work can be a result of inadequate sleep or tired body muscles. To sit in good posture and stay attentive all day you must sleep well at night. A great way to improve posture is to invest in a good quality mattress which will support the spine all night long and ensure you sleep really well in good posture.
- Practicing Yoga Goes a Long Way in Improving Posture at Work– Practicing yoga improves posture and prevents you from sitting in a bad posture at work. Yoga encompasses such poses which require the chest and shoulders to stay straight and broad and you automatically start practicing these poses even when at work. Yoga also helps you breathe better and maintains a good flow of oxygen and blood in the entire body. Desktop yoga can also be practiced during office breaks, to avoid bad posture at work.
It is common to stay engrossed in the work, such that you don’t realize you are in bad posture at work. As, now you are aware that bad posture can affect our body in a negative way, it is worth following the tips to improve it.
Owning a good posture now will help you stay free of health problems later in life and prevent several diseases from occurring in your body. So no matter whether you are sitting or standing at work, always try to maintain good posture to stay healthy in the years to come.