Poor posture is the number one cause of musculoskeletal (MSK) issues like back pain amongst desk workers. And it can have far-reaching consequences on many other aspects of your health and wellbeing.
In today’s fast-paced working world, millions of desk workers spend over 9 hours a day hunched over computer screens. We’ve all been guilty of slouching from time to time, but consistent poor posture can have damaging effects on your physical and mental wellbeing over time.
One of the most common causes of poor posture amongst desk workers is an incorrect workplace setup. 46% of desk workers have their screen positioned too low. 70% don’t know the correct height to position their monitor to minimise neck and back strain. Tilting your head forward significantly can place up to 60 pounds of weight on your neck – that’s the average weight of a 9 year old child!
Did you know? Around 82% of all workers spend the majority of their working day seated.
9 health and wellbeing consequences of bad posture
Poor posture can be pretty uncomfortable, but its impact goes far beyond physical discomfort. Here are 9 consequences bad posture can have on your health and wellbeing:
1. Back and neck pain
Hunching or craning your neck forward for long periods of time puts extra stress on your spine, neck and back muscles, leading to stiffness and pain. Poor posture can also contribute to a condition known as kyphosis, characterised by an excessive rounding of your upper back. Kyphosis can further exacerbate neck pain as it alters the natural curvature of your spine.
2. Misalignment of your spine
Posture plays an important role in the alignment of your spine. Poor posture can contribute to an abnormal curvature of your spine, leading to conditions like scoliosis and muscle spasms. Ultimately, it can have a huge impact on your overall musculoskeletal health.
Have you ever noticed a dull headache appear after you’ve spent too long looking down at your phone or laptop? You may have blamed it on the blue light from your screen. However, it’s important to note that poor posture is another significant factor that contributes to tension headaches. When you slouch or look down for long periods of time, the strain on your neck muscles can radiate up to your head and trigger a headache.
4. Poor circulation
Spending hours slumped in a chair with bad posture can compress your blood vessels and impact the blood flow to your lower limbs. Over time, this can lead to issues like varicose veins and even increase the risk of blood clots. Incorporate regular breaks and movement throughout the day to keep your blood pumping and avoid these issues!
5. Weak glutes, abs and tight hip flexors
Bad posture can lead to tight hip flexors and weak glutes and abdominal muscles. When you consistently slouch or adopt poor posture, your hip flexor muscles become shortened and tense. Similarly, your glutes and abdominal muscles tend to weaken due to a lack of engagement. As a result, they may become inactive and lose strength over time. Weak glutes not only impact your posture but can also contribute to lower back pain and hip issues.
6. Digestive Issues
Sitting with a hunched back or shoulders can compress your stomach and digestive organs. This can force stomach acid in the wrong direction, potentially leading to issues like acid reflux, heartburn and constipation.
7. Impaired lung function
Slouching compresses your chest cavity, limiting the amount of space available for your lungs to expand. This can reduce your lung capacity and make it harder for you to breathe deeply. The build-up of carbon dioxide may also affect your cognitive function.
8. Lower mood, confidence and energy levels
Poor posture has a negative influence on your mood, energy levels and self-esteem. 71% of employees who have good posture emit a higher level of confidence and feel happier!
9. Reduced productivity and focus
All the effects of bad posture mentioned above can have a huge impact on your overall productivity. Constant physical discomfort can become distracting, making it difficult to focus on tasks. The emotional side effects of poor posture, such as low mood and energy levels, make it harder to stay alert and engaged at work.
How Vitrue VIDA can help you improve your posture
Vitrue VIDA is a digital workspace assessment clinically proven to reduce MSK issues like back pain. VIDA has many impactful features to help you improve your posture and overall wellbeing:
- AI webcam assessment – measures your posture in a 5 second webcam assessment and detects whether you’re putting unnecessary strain on your neck or shoulders.
- Interactive workspace planner – allows you to recreate your exact working environment, identifying any ergonomic risks in your risks workspace that may be impacting your posture.
- Pain Coach – a personalised pain management programme with exercises tailored to your individual needs and pain levels. Incorporate short bursts of exercise throughout the day to avoid the painful consequences of bad posture!
For more information on how VIDA can help you improve your posture and overall wellbeing, contact us at email@example.com.