You look much better holding yourself upright, shoulders back. It gives a great look of confidence and assertiveness.
But, the use of laptops, cell phones, and soft, squishy chairs has left us slouching and slumped.
For some people, it's just cosmetic, they look tired and defeated. But for others, it can cause you lasting health problems.
Let's look at slouching and a few other typical habits that can seriously hurt how you look and your health.
What Slumped Over Is Doing To Your Neck and Back
Sitting and watching TV, working at a desk, even leaning over your cell phone... they all can lead to chronically slumping over.
Occasionally, this isn't a bad thing. But, if it starts happening often, it can lead to neck and back strain that can cause headaches, muscle fatigue, difficulty breathing, increase blood pressure, obesity, and many other illnesses.
On top of that, it looks terrible. Slouching conveys a sense of unease and discomfort with both yourself and whatever the situation is. Appearance-wise, the practice of standing up straight and keeping your shoulders back can make you feel better internally and project confidence.
How Crossing Your Legs Could Lead To Knee Injury and A Wheelchair
It's elegant, right? A lady with one leg delicately crossed over the other or even one ankle crossed over?
However, this practice can cause knee injury. The stabilizing tendons of the knee that run on the outside and inside of the leg get overstretched and worn-out over time. It's like overstretching a rubber band. Particularly when combined with high-heeled shoes, the damage is cumulative, eventually causing knee pain and possibly dislocation or ruptured tendons.
The same thing happens in the ankle when your ankles cross. You can pull on the outer stabilizing tendons, causing injuries normally only seen in long-distance runners.
The best way to sit is with both feet flat on the ground and parallel. But, we know this can be uncomfortable at first, so it takes practice.
Cradling Your Phone With Your Shoulder
We've all done it, taking our cellphone between our ear and shoulder while both hands work on something else. Occasionally, that's okay.
If you hold your phone like that regularly, you might start experiencing neck strain. Some people even experienced pain in their jaw, as the action can cause tension on one side of the neck, pulling the jaw out of alignment.
The best course of action is to hold your phone with your hand or use a hands-free set.
Pushing On Your Toes
Some people tend to rise up on their toes a lot. But, especially sitting, pushing up to place the weight on the ball of your foot creates a lot of strain through your foot, ankle, and knees.
This simple habit is mostly unconscious; most people don't even realize they do it as it's a sign of stress. However, the cumulative effect can cause weakness and tendon strain.
Just like the crossing your legs, the best thing to do is put your feet flat on the floor. It can help lower your knees, making them even with your hips or even lower. That forces you to engage your core muscles, allowing you to sit up straighter with better posture.
Rocking Back In Your Chair
And finally, to tag on to what we just said, many people lounge and rock back in their chairs. This brings the knees above the hips when sitting.
This is bad, because it forces your hips to roll under and places all of the strain of your weight in the small, sensitive muscles of your lower back. Many back injuries and lower back problems can be attributed to sitting with your knees higher than your hips.
If you combine all of these tips together, you'll see that sitting and standing can help relieve many health problems, especially pain. If you start with sitting your feet flat on the floor and keep your shoulders back, you'll have much more success with keeping your body strong and healthy in the long term.