We discussed how slouching can contribute to neck pain and headaches, but we
didn’t go into any detail about the other negative health ramifications of bad posture.
DIGESTION: Prolonged sitting is bad enough all by itself, but adding a slouched, slumped posture
can distort or compromise the space that houses internal organs and negatively affect MANY vital
functions, including digestion. This can lead to complaints including (but not limited to) discomfort,
constipation, and heart burn.
BREATHING: Slouching can also reduce the
space occupied by the lungs, hindering the
ability to take in a deep breath and/or force air
out of the lungs. This is the reason why good
conductors have their musicians sit up straight
with both feet on the floor (it’s not just to “look
MOOD: Did you know that sitting for seven or
more hours per day increases the risk of
depression by 47% compared with sitting for
four hours a day or less? Our energy levels
also decrease with prolonged poor posture,
further complicating this negative side effect.
WORK PERFORMANCE: Researchers have
observed that sitting up straight increases alertness, reduces fatigue, and improves productivity.
Moreover, co-workers may conclude that someone slumped over their desk is unmotivated,
disinterested, or at the least, tired. Sit/stand workstations are gaining popularity, especially with the
availability of low-cost options to transform a traditional desk into a standing desk. Studies show
improved work performance when we have the option to change positions as needed during the
day. Exercises you can perform at your desk, such as chin retractions, help strengthen the deep
neck flexor muscles, which can help reduce poor neck posture. Stretching the chest muscles and
keeping the “core” fit with pelvic stabilization exercises are also GREAT methods to improve our
VARICOSE VEINS: Prolonged sitting raises the risk for the formation of spider veins, especially in
women, which can lead to varicose veins. Compression from sitting alters the flow of blood into
the legs, and a proper fitting chair and sitting “correctly” can reduce the risk of developing
circulatory dysfunction leading to varicosities or worse, blood clots.