Ever felt a sharp tinge from sitting for too long or standing with all your weight centered on one leg? Some of these habits do more than make us look old, tired, or fat. They can actually damage the spine and affect posture leading to chronic pain later in life.
Postural dysfunction occurs when the spine is positioned in unnatural positions, which results in the joints, muscles and vertebrae being in stressful positions. This prolonged poor positioning builds up pressure on these tissues.
Some major causes of bad posture
A desk job leads to an incremental increase in chances of premature death. Sitting long hours can weaken your muscles, and even curve your upper back.
Quick fix: Sit up straight and take small breaks to walk around. This will help rev up the circulation and boost your mood as well.
Driving long hours
Long commutes can lead to hunching over the steering wheel or cause tense muscles from the stress of driving in traffic.
Quick fix: Position yourself closer to the steering wheel so you don’t have to stretch your body in awkward positions while driving.
Using mobile phone excessively
Studies have shown that looking down frequently at your phone promotes a poor posture. It leads to slumping the shoulders forward, which puts strain on their upper body. Look up from time to time and stretch your back and shoulders.
Quick fix: Try using a hands-free or headphones while talking for greater ease.
Use of heavy bag or purse
Carrying a heavy purse strains your shoulders, back, and could even lead to an altered spine. Ideally, your bag shouldn’t weight any more than 10% of your body weight including all contents inside it.
Quick fix: Choose bags made of light material such as cotton, canvas, cloth, or faux leather to minimize risk.
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
High heels or completely flat shoes not only increase the risk for foot injuries and falls, but also force you to arch your back in an unnatural position. They offer little arch support subsequently changing the body’s center of gravity. This leads to often unknowingly leaning forward while sitting or standing. High heels can degenerate the calf muscles over time.
Quick fix: Replace heeled shoes with something more comfortable such as sneakers.
Lifting Heavy objects
There are systematic ways to lift heavy objects rather than using one’s back for support. Apply ergonomic ways to reduce pressure on back i.e. bending, squatting or using leg muscles.
Quick fix: If you’re having trouble lifting something, ask for help or get professionals to do the same.
Staying glued to television for long hours, meagre exercise, excess weight, and binge eating during weekends can harm your posture and spinal health. A sedentary life can prove to be toxic and cause inflammation in joints, feeling of heaviness in the body.
Quick fix: Make it a plan to exercise at least three days a week for 30 minutes to an hour. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel!
Improper sleeping habits
Sleeping in the fetal position or on your stomach generally are the primary reasons for postural pain. Your posture and spinal health will tremendously improve when you try to sleep on your back rather than curled up in a ball or on your stomach.
Quick fix: Best sleeping position is on your back followed by on your side.