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Susan Brady, MPT
5 Ways Poor Posture Can Harm Your Health
Nurtured Bones
. https://nurturedbones.com/

5 Ways Poor Posture Can Harm Your Health

As children we were always told to stand up tall, hold your head high, pull your shoulders back, don’t slouch… and for good reason. Poor posture is obviously bad for your spine, but can also impact your digestion, mood, breathing, circulation and create pain throughout the body.

Pain and Function

Daily use of computers and handheld devices promote stress on the spine and shoulders. Slouching weakens and stretches out the back muscles and shortens and tightens the muscles in the neck and chest.

Tight muscles in the neck can lead to neck pain and headaches. Forward head posturing can result in pain in the arms. Tight chest muscles cause rounding of the shoulders and misalignment of the joints that can lead to shoulder pain. Misalignment of your lumbar spine increases stress on your spinal discs, ligaments and vertebral joints, leading to pain in your back and legs.

Digestive Issues

Slouching can cause annoying gas, acid reflux, constipation and hernias.  Sitting in a slumped position constricts your intestines and compromises digestion.  Optimal health begins with eating nutrient rich food, but if not properly digested, nutrients cannot get appropriately absorbed.


Poor posture resulting in tight chest muscles and flexed spine interferes with deep breaths. Tight muscles limit the expansion of the rib cage preventing the ability to take a deep breath and a forward flexed spine restricts the space the diaphragm has to expand.


Several studies found that people who slumped while sitting or walked in a slouch position exhibited lower self-esteem, depression and lower energy levels. Those who sat up straight and held their head high, felt more confident, up-beat and energetic. 


Osteoporosis is associated with the forward slumped posture. This forward rounding of the upper back is called kyphosis.  Kyphosis is caused by poor posture that results in wear and tear on the spine and can lead to vertebral fractures due to osteoporosis. Each time a vertebra fractures, the spine moves progressively more forward. Exercises to strengthen your back muscles can help prevent and correct kyphosis and allow you to maintain a normal alignment.

Daily Posture Practices:

Use an ergonomic chair and a work space that supports the natural curves of your spine.

Avoid the smart phone slump and practice good posture while sitting and put away your phone while walking.

Do daily stretches of tight muscles of the chest and strengthen the weak muscles of the upper back and abdomen.

Good posture not only looks better but can also improve your health in many ways.

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