Published on November 9, 2013
Many of us spend a good part of our days sitting at a desk, glued to a computer screen, looking at a laptop or tablet, or using a smart phone. Moreover, we tend to do the same activity for hours on end, all of which cause us to slouch more and contribute to poor posture.
Effects of Bad Posture
More than ever, people are suffering from the negative effects of bad posture or postural strain. Problems with poor posture usually manifest in the upper back and neck. The typical person, who sits spends most of their workday or waking hours at a desk or in front of a computer screen, has their head gravitating forward and their back slouching in the mid-back area. Visually, these people appear hunched forward with rounded shoulders and a protruding head position.
Prolonged Bad Posture and Upper Crossed Syndrome
Most people have not learned the basics of good or proper sitting posture. Rather, their slouched body position and poor sitting habits lead to a condition known as Upper Crossed Syndrome. If you draw an imaginary line from the back of the neck to the chest, and draw another line from the front of the neck to the mid-back, you have a big X (or cross), hence Upper Crossed Syndrome.
Developing Good Sitting Posture
To prevent the negative effects of poor posture, the most logical first step is to not slouch when you sit. Obviously, this is easier said than done once bad posture habits have been established; however with perseverance, positive changes will occur. The more you are aware of a problem with your posture, the more you will remind yourself to correct it. Before you know it, Upper Crossed Syndrome will become a thing of the past as proper sitting posture habits kick in and become second nature.
Long Term Effects Of Slouching
If Upper Crossed Syndrome is not dealt with and poor sitting habits continue over time, permanent postural changes may occur, including some irreversible damage such as degenerative arthritis. Fortunately, your doctor, physiotherapist, or chiropractor will be able to recommend some back exercises and stretches to help reverse Upper Crossed Syndrome.
Upper and lower back exercises and stretches go a long way in reversing some of the negative effects of prolonged poor posture habits. In general, the best back exercises stretch muscles which are too tight and strengthen muscles which are weak. With due diligence and a regular program of back exercises and stretches, positive results will result over time.