Working in the office can be draining, but not necessarily challenging, to the brain. It requires continuous productivity for long hours. But what makes it difficult to someone is the fact that the body is kept at a single, unchanging position due to sitting for long hours which affects the body negatively.
Look around your office and see how bad the postures of your colleagues are. The most common scenario in every cubicle is an employee with their chests hunched over and head protruding with eyes glued to the computer monitor. Yes, you are unconsciously adapting the posture of a turtle, but without the shell.
Funny as it may seem, the increase in the number of people with bad posture is alarming. According to ACA Today, as much as 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. More than half of the US population will be affected by an avoidable back issue due to bad posture.
Negatives of Slouching
Whether slouching has any positive effect remains a mystery. But at this point, the negatives of slouching and its effect is overwhelming and extensive that they affect the physical, emotional, and even mental health of a person.
Here are some of the negative effects of slouching you need to know about:
You’re Hurting your Muscles and Bones
Okay, this may be a bit of a no brainer. Yes, slouching is bad for the muscles on your back. Slouching creates tension to your muscles that causes back pain often in the areas in the lower back. Furthermore, slouching also adds weight to your spine which creates or aggravates existing issues and damage on your back bone.
Goodbye Proper Body Alignment
Let’s go back to the turtle pose that most employees do when sitting on their adjustable office chair. Look at your slouching colleague and see how they tend to lean to one side thus messing with the proper alignment of the spine.
Furthermore, spine alignment is also not one you can easily brush off as unimportant. According to Men’s Fitness, misaligned spine can bring tension to your jaw and even affect the ribcage. It can also subsequently damage the heart and lungs in the long run.
Slouching might bring you to that undesirable situation of leaking down there with just a few sudden movements. As explained by She Knows, slouching can put more weight on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles causing them to weaken over time. It can further cause urinary incontinence.
Recent studies found that slouching can significantly affect a person’s perspective and mood. As reported by Daily Mail, a new study conducted with students as participants found that slouching has been linked to the decrease in energy levels and depression.
Aside from feeling down and low, people who slouch in the workplace were perceived as not important in the workplace. Slouching was also found to increase the risk of stress, acquiring disease and even death.
How to stop slouching
Check your Chair
Admittedly, slouching is a habit that’s not easy to stop. It isn’t like a switch that you can just turn on and off whenever and wherever. The key to better posture is to look at the things that make slouching easy, and eliminate them.
Is your chair for back pain effective in promoting better posture? Or is it making your bad habit easier to commit? If it’s not working for you then maybe it’s time to shift to another office chair for posture support.
Aside from changing your chair or investing on one that can help improve your posture, having a good chair is just half of the problem. You also need to remind yourself to maintain proper posture while standing up.
One good way to maintain proper posture while standing up is to keep your back straight but not stretched, relax your shoulders, and keep your chest out but not enough that your spine curves too much. One good trick is to imagine yourself as a puppet with the string on top of your head. Imagine someone pulling the string up so you need to extend your body according to the direction of the string.
Maintaining good posture can be extremely difficult especially if you’re one who has gotten used to slouching. It can be uncomfortable at first but once proper posture becomes a habit, it can make you look smarter and feel happier while eliminating its long term risks.