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Signs of Poor Posture - Do You Have Them?

Updated on June 7, 2012

Which Posture Describes You?

Poor Posture Limits Height Growth
Poor Posture Limits Height Growth | Source

I'm sure you still remember how you've been told again and again by your Mom and homeroom teacher to "stand up straight, or sit erect." Did you ever take that advice?

Actually, proper posture is about training the body to stand, walk, and sit, than most people realize. The posture is the position where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments to keep bones and joints in correct alignment contributing to good appearance and a healthy spine. Poor posture creates muscle tension around the shoulder and neck that also stresses the spine. The more we ignore poor posture, the more we stress our back, and the more we do that the more our posture suffers.

Three Most Visible Signs of Poor Posture

The moment we experience shallow and tensed breathing patterns, it is a sign that we have to check our posture. You have the poorest posture if you have all of the following:

Shoulder that slouches and hunches lazily

This body position puts pressure on your bones stressing the ligaments that stabilize the joints in the spine causing pain in the back. Slouching compresses the discs causing your pelvic muscles to go slack. This is dangerous as allowing your body to hold this posture for a long time can make it harder to support a well-aligned stance.

An arching lower back or curved spine

It is the spine that supports the weight of the head and trunk and provides a protective passage for nerves. With an arched lower back, your spine is not in proper alignment, and the back muscles, ligaments, discs, and spinal joints, are all under extra stress that can also weaken the abdominal muscle joints and connective tissues. All these can slowly and steadily decompress your spinal column.

Head and neck that is jabbing forward

With an awkward forward-head posture, the head shifts the center of gravity that will interfere with the vitality of the lungs and can lead to heart and vascular problems. Poor head posture increases the weight of the head putting a huge strain on the spine. This imbalance creates tension on the entire neck that affects the body's range of motion, including sleep.

Prolonged sitting from work  can hurt the spine
Prolonged sitting from work can hurt the spine | Source

Why We Get Poor Posture

Bad habits start with inactivity of the muscles that automatically puts you to poor posture exposing postural muscles to injury and back pain. All this exaggerated and abnormal sway is generally associated with rounded shoulders, forward head, and a protruding stomach and buttocks.

If you see people with bent knees when they stand or walk (particularly when wearing heels), or hear them complain about body aches, it means they have to correct their posture.

When people tend to overwork and strain, improper position of the body occurs, particularly the neck leading to a forward head position. According to the Neck Solutions, a forward neck posture of 3 inches increases the weight of the head on the neck by 30 pounds and the pressure put on the muscles increases 6 times.

This extra pressure on the neck from altered posture flattens the normal curve of the cervical spine resulting in abnormal strain of muscles, ligaments, bones and joints of the neck causing the joints to deteriorate faster than normal. The end result is lack of balance and poor posture.

Sitting Gracefully
Sitting Gracefully | Source


Awareness is the beginning of correction.

  • If you sit for long periods, program yourself to take breaks from time to time. A 20-30 seconds slight stretch is a big help. Get up and move gently pulling your head over your shoulders and squeeze the blades of your shoulders together in the back. Do deep breathing at the same time, inhaling and exhaling to ease your back.
  • When working on a computer, your eyes should be, or "at least" eye-level to the monitor. Adjust if necessary to save your neck from getting strained. Some people use a chair with a neck holder to give support to the neck muscles.
  • When driving, use a back support pillow. This will give support to the back and the head allowing the neck to move back over the shoulders.This technique can also encourage good sitting posture which activates muscles to improve posture and reduce the forward head position.
  • Backpacks are also one of the reasons of a poor posture. Backpacks, particularly heavy packs that are not properly designed can cause the head to move forward to compensate for weight in the back. To correct this, always use backpacks that are properly and appropriately designed to distribute weight evenly and help to prevent strain that begins the process of poor neck posture.


The Sleeping Posture

The way you sleep contributes to your posture habits. It is just as important as the way you you sit, stand and walk. It is when sleeping that the body undergoes repair and rejuvenating process and the perfect opportunity for the spine to align itself naturally.

No matter how much you like sleeping in a particular position, always try to give your body a chance to sleep in a position that helps it maintain the curve in the back. Avoid sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. Use a pillow that allows your head to be in a normal position. Just do your best to sleep on your back. It is healthy for the spine.


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    • Tonipet profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonette Fornillos 

      7 years ago from The City of Generals

      Hello jpcmc,

      It's what happens when we stress the shoulders, we slump when we're tired. Poor shoulders. I also have been doing just about anything to stretch them, liked the way it stretches the blades. I like your attitude, you don't wait until it gets so hurt to make corrections. Great will, you'll live long! You might find these tips helpful, I'm happy you find the tips superb. Thank you for reading. Best regards and be safe.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 

      7 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I'm a sloucher and after they day's work I can feel the strain on my back. There was a time when I often had headaches because of poor posture. From time to time, I feel my body slouching but I try to correct it immediately. The tips here are superb!

    • Tonipet profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonette Fornillos 

      7 years ago from The City of Generals

      Hello carribeanmedskuls,

      Your body will pardon you for recognizing the wake-up call :=), go ahead and begin the changes. You'll thank yourself for that. Cheers to that healthy turn of the wheel!

      Hello shin,

      If it's the subject that has been much slept on, it's your turn to make it the next subject to excel... I think you're on your way to it. Thank you for stopping and reading. Now take heart!

    • shin_rocka04 profile image


      7 years ago from Maryland

      This is some good information...I started doing the short stretch breaks when I'm at the computer for a long period of time just a bit recently. Good posture is a subject that's very slept on. Thanks for the tips.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a great "wake up call" for hubbers who unconsciously neglect taking care of proper posture especially when fully engrossed at work. Thank you for "waking" me up. I plead guilty!:)

    • Tonipet profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonette Fornillos 

      7 years ago from The City of Generals

      I'm quite sure a bad sitting posture is to blame for those pains in your back, been there. I do sit a lot 'til now so also a reminder to take breaks in between. Try standing tall, it puts all things in place and pulls the head right where it should be (where else should the head be!, but honestly,very effective to me. Thank you for sharing.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 

      7 years ago from On Planet Earth

      This is very interesting hub and i do stand up bad i have a lot of back pain also. I should practice to stand well.


    • Tonipet profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonette Fornillos 

      7 years ago from The City of Generals

      If you help your body undergo a complete repair with a good sleeping posture, you'll get a more rejuvenated body the next day. You'll shine healthier and more looking-good! I'm sure of that. Thank you James and cheers for Superman! :=) Take care.

    • profile image

      Olde Cashmere 

      7 years ago

      This is something I have had to always be aware of as I tend to slouch. After doing this for years since childhood I developed constant back pain. I've learned to correct it the best I can and this hub is a nice reminder to put more focus and attention to it, especially with the way I sleep. Thank you for this well written and helpful hub Tonipet, voted up, shared, interesting, and useful :)

    • Tonipet profile imageAUTHOR

      Tonette Fornillos 

      7 years ago from The City of Generals

      Thank you for stopping and for the vote. So glad you find the hub interesting and useful. More power!

    • breathe2travel profile image


      7 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Voted up, interesting & useful!

      Best regards~


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