Northgate Vehicle Hire spoke exclusively to Dr Matthew Cavanaugh, a leading chiropractor, to shed some light on the health impacts of bad posture and what can be done to improve it:
There are three leading causes of bad posture: phone use, a sedentary lifestyle, and carrying heavy bags.
“ I have found that there are three leading causes of bad posture I see on a daily basis. The first is the increased use of mobile phones. Apps feed upon user engagement and as a result, people are sitting, probably hunched over, looking down at their phones for prolonged periods of time. This creates a muscular imbalance leading to the anterior head carriage, a condition where the head is improperly aligned with the neck and shoulders.
A sedentary lifestyle also leads to poor postural habits like slumping or slouching. These positions feel comfortable at first but the real damage is done when they become a habit. The final leading cause of bad posture is carrying heavy bags which will cause the wearer to lean forward. This results in tension in the back and shoulder muscles and can lead to stresses on one side of the body.”
“One way that poor posture impacts general health is that it will increase the stress placed on the spine. This leads to neck and back pain which Northgate Vehicle Hire has found to be dramatically on the rise in the UK. Years of bad posture will lead to arthritic changes in your spine which can compress nerves that exit your spine causing numbness and tingling in your arms and legs.
Bad posture during or after eating can lead to an increased risk of heartburn. Slouching at the dinner table compresses the chest and stomach. Consequently, the stomach acid meant to break down food slowly leaks into the oesophagus. Long-term effects of heartburn will change the cells in the oesophagus and increase your risk of oesophagal cancer.
Slouching and poor alignment can also negatively impact your mental health. Predominantly it can reduce your self-esteem and confidence making us feel less secure. Having good posture helps us carry ourselves in a more positive way. Alongside this, discomfort and pain resulting from subsequent backaches can lead to disturbed sleep and reduced motivation.
“The best way to improve posture is by incorporating stretching and strengthening routines into your daily life. This will provide the strength and flexibility needed to properly support the body in daily activities like sitting, standing, or squatting.
Another tip is to maintain good posture while you sleep. Keeping the spine straight and in a neutral position while sleeping can relieve tightness and tension in muscles and ease the pressure off of overused joints. Sleeping curled up with your chin tucked into your chest will lead to stiffness and soreness. Adopting a more beneficial sleeping posture can be challenging, but the long-term benefits make it more than worth the effort.
In conclusion, it’s important to pay attention to your posture and make adjustments as needed to prevent negative effects on your physical and mental health. Maintaining good posture can help boost confidence, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.”