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How Bad is Slouching for Your Back?

Is Slouching Bad for Your Back | all33

Let’s say you’re sitting at your office desk for hours at a time. How many of those hours are you slouching?

Chances are, you’re probably slouching more than you want to - whether while sitting or standing. Poor posture puts strain on your lower back muscles, and when you slouch you put pressure on your bones and compress the discs in your back.

In order to determine how bad slouching is for your back, we must determine the difference between static posture and dynamic posture, what the effects of poor posture are (including hip flexor strain and anterior pelvic tilt), what the key to proper posture is, and lastly, what happens when you correct your posture.

What is Static Posture vs. Dynamic Posture?

Is Slouching Bad for Your Back | all33

There are two different types of posture. Static posture is how you hold yourself up when you are not moving—when you are sitting, standing, or lying down. Dynamic posture is how you carry yourself when you are moving—when you are walking, running, or even bending over to pick something up.

The trick is that you have to make sure that you have both correct static and dynamic posture. That means that you’re keeping your spine aligned, rather than increasing the natural curves that are present.

What Are the Effects of Poor Posture?

Poor posture leads to a wide variety of problems with your health. From straining your hip flexors to anterior pelvic tilt, slouching and hunching over your computer screen can cause serious pain, as well as more serious problems.

Hip Flexor Strain

One of the most common problems is hip flexor strain. Your hip flexors connect the top of your femur (the upper thigh bone, which is the largest bone in the body) to the lower back, hips, and groin. Your hip flexors essentially support your body.

Hip flexor strain is essentially when you overwork your hip flexors because you are relying too heavily on them to support you, causing them to strain. There are multiple hip flexor muscles that allow you to move, including the iliacus and psoas major muscles and the rectus femoris, which is a portion of your quadriceps. When you overuse or over-stretch these muscles and tendons, you will most likely experience injury, pain, and decreased mobility. This problem can be very dangerous because we rely on them to move.

Hip flexor strain can be painful. A couple of common results of hip flexor strain include:

  • sudden, sharp pain in the hip or pelvis ,
  • a cramping or clenching sensation in the upper leg muscles,
  • tenderness and soreness in the upper leg muscles,
  • weakness in the front of the groin as well as a tugging feeling,
  • muscle spasms in the hips and thighs,
  • inability to kick, jump and run,
  • reduction of mobility,
  • discomfort when moving,
  • a constant feeling of discomfort in the upper leg,
  • swelling or bruising in the hip area, and
  • tightness or stiffness after being still (i.e., when sleeping).

Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Anterior (frontal) pelvic tilt is when you rotate your pelvis in an unhealthy way, causing poor posture. This is often caused by (you guessed it) sitting the wrong way. It causes soreness in the muscles in the front of your pelvis and thighs. This can lead to lower back pain, hip and knee pain, incorrect posture, and forced hip and knee rotations, and more.

Anterior pelvic tilt can actually cause weakness in the gluteus and abdominal muscles, and it affects your hip and back, causing significant pain in both areas. Tension headaches are also extremely common when experiencing anterior pelvic tilt.

In general, hip flexor strain and anterior pelvic tilt are very problematic, and you want to avoid them if you can. That’s where our BackStrong chair can help—it makes it nearly impossible to slouch. That means as long as you are in your chair (and that could be a significantly long period), you can have the peace of mind that you are not hurting your health. In fact, you are improving your health by sitting up straight and allowing your body to move.

Other Effects of Poor Posture

Often when people try to improve their posture, they end up overcompensating, which can cause even more damage. Incorrect posture habits create a variety of problems, such as:

Often when people try to improve their posture, they end up overcompensating, which can cause even more damage. Incorrect posture habits create a variety of problems, such as:

  • imbalanced body alignment,
  • pain or injury,
  • shoulder impingement,
  • strain on ligaments and muscles,
  • chronic pain,
  • impingement,
  • low back pain,
  • neck pain,
  • hip pain,
  • joint stiffness, and
  • muscle tightness.

What Happens When You Correct Your Posture?

Is Slouching Bad for Your Back | all33

So How Do I Stop Slouching?

The key to proper posture is the position of your spine. The spine tends to curve in three areas; at your neck, mid-back, and lower back. When you are implementing correct posture, that should maintain the curves but not increase them. You should hold your head above your shoulders and keep the top of your shoulders perpendicular to your hips. Several times a day, you should take a step back and make note of the way that you’re sitting or standing, so that you can make sure you’re maintaining a healthy posture. Getting up from your desk and moving around can be a start too, because sitting in the exact same position for extended periods of time is a huge part of what leads to slouched posture in the first place.

You can also begin to implement some gentle stretching exercises into your daily routine. Yoga poses that target the lower back, like the cobra pose and child’s pose, as well as the figure four pose for your hips, can be extremely beneficial.

The easiest way to correct your posture, however, is to use a chair that does it for you. Our BackStrong chair uses patented Sit in Motion® technology to protect your hip flexors and allow your pelvis to move, therefore freeing your spine to align correctly. And it not only allows your spine to achieve ideal posture, but it also lets all 33 of your vertebrae move - further protecting the health of your back.

What Next?

Now you understand how bad posture affects your back, from hip flexor strain and anterior pelvic tilt. You also know the key to proper posture, what happens when you correct your posture, and how the all33 chair can help you achieve that.

What are you going to do next? Save yourself the headache (quite literally) of poor posture. It is time to stop worrying about what slouching can do to you and start investing in your health.

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