5 Reasons to Stand Up Straight*: Surprising Reasons to Stop Slouching-
1. Less back pain. Sitting in front of your computer or in the car all day — especially in a hunched or slouched position — increases pressure on disks in the spine, which can cause its supporting muscles and ligaments to degenerate sooner, says Esther Yaniv, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist in Austin, TX. This can lead to back pain and may worsen herniated disks or pinched nerves.
2. More energy. Good circulation is crucial to keeping your mind alert and body energized. But slumping tightens your chest and compresses your lungs — which means less oxygen makes its way into your bloodstream, leaving you tired, stressed, and mentally foggy. And strain in any part of your body saps energy, says Yaniv: “Tense postures have the same fatiguing effect as holding a biceps curl for two hours.”
3. Fewer headaches. Headaches are a common by-product of our constant use of computers and other electronic gadgets — notice how gravity draws your head forward when you’re staring at a screen. Trouble is, that position pulls on neck muscles and sensitive nerves in the back of your head and cuts blood flow to the brain. The result: a throbbing noggin. Sit straighter and you’ll prevent the pain.
4. Fewer bone and joint aches. Poor posture can be a slowly occurring injury that can lead to the shortening of muscles over time. For example, slouching when you’re sitting causes hip flexors to become shorter and less flexible than they should be, leading to joint pain. And if you sit with rounded shoulders, you may get rotator-cuff pain. Over time, this wear and tear can lead to arthritis.
5. Better digestion. Slouching on the sofa after eating causes your tummy muscles to tighten, which can push stomach acid into your esophagus and cause heartburn. Standing or sitting up straight allows your digestive system to work more efficiently, so you won’t experience that or other gastro problems, like gas.