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Want to improve yourself? Start with your posture!

Posted by Bridget Freeman in Motivation

Estimated reading time: 2mins

Want to improve yourself? Start with your posture!

The physical effects of bad posture

Poor head posture can have lots of negative effects on our overall health. These include:

  • Increased strain on our neck, back and shoulders
  • Uneven alignment of our spine
  • Uneven use of muscles surrounding these areas

Additionally, it can reduce lung capacity by up to 30%. This affects the efficiency of oxygen getting to the cells in our body!

The curve of our cervical vertebrae create the main route for spinal nerves that affect every organ, including the heart, so we need to treat them well. This is yet another reason to not spend so long on our phones!

Bad posture can be just as bad for your mental health and your physical health.
Bad posture can be just as bad for your mental health and your physical health.

The mental effects of bad posture

But it’s not just physical! Bad posture actually effects our mental health as well, increasing feelings of stress, lack of self confidence and lower self esteem!

A study in Brazil looked at posture in those with chronic depression and found that their forward head posture was more prominent than those without.

In another study in Health Psychology, participants were strapped into either slumped or straightened postures and the effect on their hearts and minds were studied. Result?

“The upright participants reported feeling more enthusiastic, excited and strong, while the slumped participants reported feeling more fearful, hostile, nervous, quiet, passive, dull, sleepy and sluggish.”

Those with good posture had higher self esteem, less social fear and fewer negative emotions, plus stronger pulses!

Stretches can help alleviate tense and tight neck muscles.
Stretches can help alleviate tense and tight neck muscles.

The verdict

Next time you find yourself slouching remember the old advice and sit up straight!

Try sitting on a fit ball if you have an office job – it really reminds you to not slouch, or set reminders in your phone to improve until it becomes your normal.

Or try out some of these great neck stretches to build strength in your neck muscles and minimise slouching.

Get up often, assume your Wonder Woman or Superman pose and feel your power increase!

References:

  1. Canales, J., Cordás, T., Fiquer, J., Cavalcante, A. and Moreno, R., 2010. Posture and body image in individuals with major depressive disorder: a controlled study. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, [online] 32(4), pp.375-380. Available at:Posture and body image in individuals with major depressive disorder: a controlled study. Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria.
  2. Posture Direct. 2020. How To Fix Forward Head Posture (UPDATED 2020) - Posture Direct. [online] Available at:Posture Direct. 2020. How To Fix Forward Head Posture.
  3. Nair, S., Sagar, M., Sollers, J., Consedine, N. and Broadbent, E., 2015. Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial. Health Psychology, [online] 34(6), pp.632-641. Available at:Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial.
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