*Disclaimer: This is an informative article, the following information should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing pain/health problems, please contact your doctor.
Whether you work from home or in an office, sitting for hours on end can lead to poor posture, which may cause a wide range of health problems over time. From simple tasks like doing the dishes to sitting on the couch and watching TV, it’s easy to let good posture fall by the wayside. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to improve and maintain good posture so you can stay healthier and happier. Read on for some more information about the effects of bad posture, what causes it, and how to fix it with a few simple, practical tips.
Effects of Bad Posture
The effects of bad posture are numerous, and they can range from mild to severe. The level of discomfort, pain or other issues you experience can vary, but it’s essential to understand the repercussions of bad posture. You need good posture to support your back to prevent ongoing pain.
Back, shoulder, and neck pain. Poor posture can cause your body to slump downward, putting excess weight and pressure on your back, shoulders, and neck. This can lead to severe pain that may or may not get worse as the day goes on. Upper and lower back pain can be debilitating and make getting through your day difficult. A sore neck or strained shoulders will also negatively affect your day-to-day life. Sitting up straight and using ergonomic furniture can help prevent this.
Poor sleep. If you have bad posture, it can lead to more than just an aching back. Without the correct posture every day, your sleep can be negatively affected, too. Dealing with pain can make falling asleep and staying asleep difficult. You might also find that it’s harder to get comfortable at bedtime, which can lead to endless hours of tossing and turning. When you adopt good posture at home, it will carry through to your sleeping habits. It helps to improve your sleeping position, which can give you a better night’s rest and the ability to have good posture throughout your day.
Digestion problems. Believe it or not, bad posture can also impact your body’s digestive system. Sitting in a slumped position makes it more difficult for food to travel down the esophagus and into the stomach, which may lead to heartburn or indigestion. Slouching also puts pressure on your abdomen, leading to even more problems. When you sit upright, you can eat and drink in confidence and won’t need to worry about the possibility of that uncomfortable feeling of heartburn after lunchtime.
Lack of motivation. There’s something to be said about sitting or standing tall with your shoulders back and your head held high. When you have poor posture, you’ll feel sluggish, tired, and unmotivated. This can have a snowball effect, leading to a slowdown in productivity, a negative mental outlook, and the lack of desire to tackle the tasks ahead of you.
Activities That Can Affect Your Posture at Home
So, what exactly causes posture problems when you’re at home? Here are some of the most common examples that can cause you to have a posture problem.
Home office. Just like sitting at a desk at the office, sitting in front of your computer at home all day can lead to poor posture. Whether you sit down for just a few hours or eight hours straight, working from home is the number-one cause of poor posture at home, especially if you don’t have the right chair and desk to help you sit correctly.
Doing the dishes. When you’re doing the dishes, it’s easy to start slumping or slouching directly over the sink. If you’re scrubbing many pots and pans in one session, it can lead to severe neck and shoulder pain over time.
Cleaning the house. From vacuuming and mopping to scrubbing the countertops, even simple house cleaning tasks can lead to bad posture over time. Try not to bend down for too long, and make sure that your mop or vacuum is tall enough that you can perform these tasks while staying in an upright position. It’s essential that you’re not being forced to bend over while you clean.
Watching TV. It’s easy to have bad posture while watching TV. Although your favorite sofa or recliner is comfy, sitting idle for too long in a bad position can easily lead to poor posture and all kinds of pain and discomfort.
Reading. If you’re lounging on a chair or sofa and reading your favorite book, eventually, your neck and shoulders will start to strain. Be conscious of how you sit or lie down when readingto help keep your neck, shoulders, and spine aligned.
Sitting at the table. Even sitting at the dinner table can lead to bad posture. Instead of slumping forward or sitting with your shoulders and neck lurching forward, do your best to sit upright the entire time you’re eating and conversing at the table. A new set of dining room chairs can help provide you with more support if your current chairs are worn out or if they’re not giving you the support you need.
Tips for Improving Your Posture
There are many benefits of good posture, so it’s essential to follow these posture corrector tips. Here is a list of tips to show you how to improve posture at home so you can live a better life.
Exercises. If you want to know how to relieve lower back pain, a few simple posture exercises can help to strengthen your neck, back, hips, and shoulders. Bridges can strengthen your lower back by engaging the abdominal and gluteal muscles. Doing some torso twists every day will help to keep your entire body aligned. Learn how to work your hip flexors to give you better control over your lower body, leading to better posture at home and everywhere else, too.
Stretching. Start your day with some simple stretches to keep your muscles limber and strong. Do several sets of neck stretches to help release tension in your shoulders and your neck. Do some overhead arm raises while sitting in a chair to help engage your back muscles. Try a few different stretches until you find the ones that work best for your lifestyle and routine.
Ergonomic furniture. An ergonomic home starts with quality ergonomic furniture. Look for desk chairs that provide you with full-body support and features like adjustable height, arms, and an adjustable backrest. Try out a few different pieces of furniture before you buy anything to ensure that you choose the suitable options for you. Make sure that your home office workstation is set up in a way that promotes better posture to keep you focused and comfortable each day. A footrest under your desk will also encourage better posture while sitting.
Posture devices. There are several products you can purchase to help promote better posture. A memory foam chair cushion can give you additional support while you’re sitting at your desk, and you can also find devices like affordable back braces that encourage you to sit up straight during the day. A quality bed pillow is an essential help for maintaining good posture, as is a comfortable and supportive mattress. If your current pillow and mattress aren’t giving you the support you need, it’s time to look for something new.
Healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can have a substantial positive impact on your posture. If you’re overweight, there is a good chance that you’re putting undue stress on the back, shoulders, and neck. Work on improving your diet and eat healthy, nutritious foods. Once you’re at a healthy weight, you’ll start to notice that daily aches and pains may begin to lessen and improve.
Being active. Keeping your muscles active and engaged will strengthen everything from your core to your neck and leg muscles. Take daily walks, learn how to do yoga, or enjoy an afternoon bike ride. The more active you are, the better you’ll feel mentally and physically, which can positively affect your posture whenever you’re sitting or working around the house.
Be posture-aware. Even something as simple as being more conscious of your posture can help you improve. Pay close attention to how you’re sitting and how your body is positioned while performing various tasks around the home. Once you know what to look for, you can correct your posture faster so that it starts to become a habit.
From working in a home office to cleaning, follow these simple tips for good posture at home and watch your life improve. Remember to stay active and do some stretching and other exercises as often as possible to keep your body limber and strong. With the right furniture and other tools, you can start to change your posture for the better and enjoy sitting and standing tall, even when you’re at home.
Written by guest contributor, Daniela Gonzalez.