A recent study found that 38% of school-aged children have bad posture. Bad posture leads to headaches as well as shoulder and back pain, not just in children but in adults too. Even worse, bad posture can cause gastrointestinal reflux and make us feel fatigued because our bodies aren’t able to breathe deeply.
Many people are so used to being hunched over that they don’t know what proper posture feels like.
Here we’ll discuss 3 common causes of bad posture and what you can do about it.
1. Excessive Sitting
Excessive sitting is the number 1 cause of bad posture. On average, we sit 14 hours each day. We sit on the drive to work, and all day at our desks. When we get home we sit to eat supper and then again to watch TV or watch our kids play baseball. We sit more than we do anything else. Sitting causes your shoulders to round forward. It also causes an anterior pelvic tilt. Sitting all day also makes our core muscles become sloppy which makes our posture worse.
Combat your sedentary lifestyle with a standing desk. Take walking meetings and get up and walk around while you are on the phone. Set a timer and get up while you are at your desk. Make a goal to take a walk instead of watch TV in the evenings.
Looking down at our phones is a cause of poor neck posture and leads to neck and shoulder pain. Luckily, there are several ways to fix neck posture.
If you had an injury, even if it was a while ago, the nearby muscles are affected. These muscles spasm to keep the injured area of your body stable. While that’s a good thing for your injury, over time these muscles start to become weak. As a result, there is an imbalance between these weakened muscles and the rest of the muscles. Bad posture is often the result of this combination.
Massage therapy or physical therapy can treat the injury and relax the overworked muscles.
3. Muscle Weakness
If your body has some areas that are weaker than others, muscle tension occurs. SOme muscles will overcompensate to try to keep your body upright while others slack on their part. The result is that your muscles can’t keep you upright in a good posture.
The difference in muscle strength could be due to your exercise habits. Or it could be due to the repetitive tasks you do like scrubbing pots. If you only exert certain muscles repeatedly, they will be stronger and in better condition than others.
The best way to prevent this is by incorporating strength training a couple times a week in your exercise routines.
Final Thoughts on Causes of Bad Posture
The 3 things we’ve discussed here are just some of the possible causes of bad posture. There are dozens of other things that could be contributing to your poor posture including shoes, stress and your genetics.
Contact our chiropractic clinic for a diagnosis and help in treating pain.