ORLANDO, Fla. – Thirty-one million Americans are having back pain at any given time. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed days at work and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Poor posture is often blamed for back pain, but there are other ways poor posture can negatively affect your health, too.
Slouching over your laptop, looking down at your mobile phone, bending over to pick up a box, sitting at a desk all day: These are everyday activities that can affect your posture in a negative way.
Other than back pain, poor posture can lead to accelerated joint degeneration and increased levels of stress. It can also lead to an increase in developing heart disease.
A London study followed 4,000 men for 20 years and found the men who experienced posture deviation and height loss had a 64 percent higher risk of developing coronary heart disease. Poor posture can even affect your life expectancy. A university of Queensland study found that every hour someone is slumped over watching TV, their life is shortened by 22 minutes.
“Especially with the younger generation being raised where they’re spending more time sitting and folded, we need to do something about this,” Steven Weiniger, a posture expert at BodyZone, LLC, said.
You can improve your posture by getting up and moving every 20 minutes. Our bodies are not designed to stay in one position for long periods of time.
“Your body is designed to move.” Weiniger continued.
Also, try regular exercise to strengthen your muscles, and posture-strengthening exercises as well. Experts also say poor posture can affect your breathing. With poor posture, you have restricted, shallow breathing. When you stand up straight, your lungs have room to take in more air.