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The Many Adverse Effects of Bad Posture on the Muscular & Skeletal Systems of the Human Body

Updated on June 13, 2019
Haziqa Ishtiaq profile image

Haziqa Ishtiaq enjoys researching health articles and sharing her discoveries with the world. She hopes to spread awareness of health issue.

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Our spine carries the whole weight of our body. The spine allows us to perform basic movements like lifting objects, sitting, standing, walking, running and more. Good posture is critical to gain a healthy spine and skeletal system. However, with the increase in the use of smartphones, computers, and gadgets, hunching has become more common than ever.

Moreover, for office going individuals, a large part of the day is spent sitting in front of the computer screen which has worsened the problem.

Sitting for prolonged periods can cause misalignment of the vertebrae. Since you can’t pass up sitting, you can learn how to sit at a desk to avoid neck and back pain.

Bad posture causes us a lot of trouble. It indirectly affects other aspects of our health. We may not realize, but many of our health-related problems are due to our seemingly harmless habit of slouching when sitting. Here are some of the in-detail effects of bad posture on muscles, bones and overall health.

1. Muscle Soreness

Have you ever observed that after sitting in a wrong position your muscles start feeling sore and tight? Well, the reason is simple. When we slouch, our spine becomes destabilized, and the muscles have to work harder to keep it stable and secure. As a result, muscles become sore and stiff.

Constant soreness and stiffness in the muscles can seriously affect your daily movement and quality of life. Stiffness in the neck, shoulder and lower back is a typical result of poor posture.

That is why people say exercise is essential. The human body was not intended to stay in one position for too long, so to avoid muscle soreness, you need to move your limbs to keep them from going stiff at least consistently.

2. Headaches

Slouching, when sitting, puts too much strain on the neck muscles and leads to neck pain. Pain from the neck usually spreads out to other parts such as shoulders and head.

3. Osteoarthritis

The degeneration of connective tissues between joints causes osteoarthritis. This tissue provides the necessary lubrication between joints and protects the bones from rubbing together.

Bad posture is one reason for osteoarthritis.

The weak stance puts too much pressure on the joints causing the connective tissue to wear out. When the connective tissue wears out, it results in the bones rubbing against each other, causing bone degeneration and pain.

4. Digestion Issues

Healthy eating is essential for longevity, but posture mistakes also impact our digestive health.

Slouching causes the digestive organs and other internal organs to compress together. The altering in the position of the internal organs such as stomach and intestines results in the improper digestion of food.

5. Fatigue and Stress

After staying in the wrong posture for more extended periods, the muscles become tired and fatigued. With prolonged muscle fatigue, you cannot relax, which increases stress. It also induces insomnia because you can only sleep appropriately if your whole mind and body are at peace.

Improper sleep ultimately results in more stress and a vicious cycle is formed.

6. Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel is a condition which causes the sensation of numbness and tingling in the wrists and hands. It happens due to the suppression of a nerve in the carpal tunnel- a narrow passageway in the palm side of our hands. As nerves in the neck and back control the movements of the wrists and hands, therefore, any stiff muscles in the neck or back can cause carpal tunnel-type tingling and numbness in the hands.

7. Subluxations

Bad posture alters the natural spinal curve, which results in subluxations.

The term defines what happens when a part of the spine or vertebrae misaligns from the rest of the spine. These subluxations can affect the surrounding spinal nerves causing pain in other parts of the body.

8. Nerve Constriction

As mentioned earlier, subluxations put stress on the surrounding nerves. These pinched nerves can then cause pain in other parts of our body such as the neck, back, arms and wrists.

Constricted nerves can hinder movement and prolonged stress can lead to permanent damage to the nerves.

Thus, there is a need to work consistently to improve your posture. For that, the first thing that you will have to do is to change your regular habits and lifestyle. If your lifestyle involves too much time on the computer, then you should take frequent breaks to stretch your muscles.

Make regular walk a habit in your daily routine. There are some excellent posture building exercises that you can regularly do to keep your stance correct and upright.

Final Thought

Bad posture can be detrimental to one's physical health, but it also has a psychological effect on the mind.

Slumping implies a lack of confidence and insecurity that can affect your life negatively.

Thus, focus on yourself and the little things that you think don't cause any harm and work on improving them for a better, healthier life.

© 2019 Haziqa Ishtiaq

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    • Haziqa Ishtiaq profile imageAUTHOR

      Haziqa Ishtiaq 

      5 weeks ago from Nashville

      Thank you for your kind words! I am guilty of slouching too and don't often realize it until my starts to hurt. Thus, my reason for such an article. It's the minor things we do that can lead to major problems in the future, yet we remain unaware and uncaring of the consequences.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      5 weeks ago

      Great article and for me a reminder to be aware of my posture. I find if I am tired or lazy I do tend to slouch.However, I wasn't aware of the negative impact of bad posture, so I will watch my posture in future. Thank you for sharing.

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