Sitting at a desk looking at a screen all day long is exhausting, whether you’re in the office or working from home. Not having correct sitting posture may be what’s to blame for your chronic neck and back pain (which is already bad enough as it is) but can also put you at risk for a LOT of other health issues in the long term.
It’s logical that craning your neck and slouching while working at your computer not only hurts, but it will also cause your posture to deteriorate over time. As it turns out, having correct sitting computer posture is crucial in today’s world BECAUSE everywhere you look, you see screens!
Long-Term Effects of Bad Computer Posture Broken Down
- Forward Head Posture: What is it and do you have it? (Probably). Forward Head Posture is the term to describe the position of your head and overall posture from habitually craning your neck to look at computer screens, essentially. Though there are other ways that you can develop this, computers, laptops, and cell phones are the main culprits.
If you do have a tendency to sit in this position, it increases the workload of a lot of the muscles connected to the spine that are responsible for holding up your head. As time passes, your body will try to adapt to hold your head up for straight-ahead vision. This is when some muscles become elongated and weaken, while others shorten and tighten.
- Change in Your Spinal Curvature: Our backs have four main curves that make an ‘S’ shape when properly aligned. Even though our spines can endure a lot, putting too much pressure by sitting and standing in wrong positions slowly causes the spine’s natural shape to change.
- Impaired Lung Function & Circulation: If you lean or hunch forward, it can negatively affect your oxygen intake. Not only does slouching reduce your lung function and capacity, but it also reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to your organs and your brain. This can lead to further issues down the road, which even includes heart disease and reduced cognitive function.
- Poor or Disrupted Digestion: This is another one for you slouchers out there to be aware of. Slouching at your desk (or at home) compresses your abdominal organs, which includes your digestive tract. Over time, this negative impact on your metabolism can lead to difficulties processing food and nutrients properly, bloating, abdominal cramping and constipation. Thus, in turn, this can lead to a nutritional deficiency.
- Hormonal Changes: Believe it or not, poor posture may alter endocrine function. The endocrine system is the system in the body for maintaining proper hormonal balance so everything works smoothly. Studies have shown maintaining poor posture for just a few minutes can cause drastic changes in hormonal production, including elevations in cortisol and other inflammatory compounds that typically lead to inflammation and weight gain around the midsection. Hormones that affect mood may also be impacted by poor posture, this can lead to decreased mood/ libido and depression. If these are changes that take place within just a few minutes, imagine what chronically poor posture is doing to you!
If you’ve read this and want to take the next steps to correct your sitting posture, don’t wait another day slouching at your desk. Feel free to reach out to Wolf Moon Wellness for more information or to set up an appointment to get started on correcting your posture. For those of you who are unable to make it to our office, we’re offering an online posture course that you can sign up for right now. So, if you’d like to be able to walk out of the office with your head held high, make the decision to improve your posture, health and your life today.
This Program will go over the essentials of posture, core and breath work.
John Laznovsky, LMT
John has over ten years of experience in the field of corrective exercise and rehabilitation as a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Manual Therapist. He holds advanced certifications in Kettlebells, Functional Movement Screening, Posture Analysis, Sciatica Treatment, Neck and Scapula Pain, Back Pain and CPR and AED.)
Mary Laznovsky, M.S., L.Ac
Mary is a Licensed Acupuncturist and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach who has been busy in private and clinical practice since graduating from New York College in April 2010. Mary values Eastern Medicine because she believes it is a truly holistic healing practice which incorporates a synchronicity between the body and the mind. She works with her patients building a positive and healthy environment for an optimal healing process.
Mary's methods work to treat the body as a whole, seeking out the root of a disease in addition to alleviating the symptoms.