Bad back posture: 21 things to know to correct it

Many daily habits and activities give you a bad back posture making your figure hunched and unathletic. Fortunately, this is not inevitable and as they say: “It's never too late to do well”.

Here are 3 words you probably heard when you were younger:

"Stand straight !"

Mom or Dad

Whether we realize it or not, many of us bend over more than is necessary to maintain a healthy spine. Poor posture can have several negative effects on our body in general, and particularly on the back. 

Let's take a look at the consequences of these bad habits together. Next, you'll learn about the most common causes and how to fix them.

percko back pain t-shirt

10 Consequences of poor back posture

Before considering the habits that lead to poor spinal position, I invite you to discover the common problems that result.

1. Spinal deformity

Natural spine curvature

The three main curves of a properly aligned spine form an S-shape. Over time, poor posture can cause these natural curves to shift, putting excessive pressure on the wrong position.

Our spine is normally able to absorb shock, but poor posture can slowly break down this natural ability, putting you at risk for more serious injury.

2. Back pain

One of the most well-known side effects of poor posture is unwanted strain on your upper and lower back. Leaning forward puts pressure between your shoulder blades and flattens your back muscles.

If you notice pain under your neck and around your tailbone after a long day at work, you're probably not sitting up straight.

3. Neck or jaw pain and headaches

bad posture consequences - neck pain

Poor posture puts pressure on your posterior muscles, which negatively impacts your neck. Whether your shoulders are hunched forward or your head is pointing downward, the strain placed on your neck by these muscles can lead to tension headaches.

Also, if you spend a lot of time leaning forward, it increases your chances of clenching your jaw. By contracting it, you tense the muscles in your face, which leads to jaw pain and headaches. This phenomenon can also be accentuated by stress and lack of sleep.

4. Poor blood circulation

If you sit with poor posture for hours on end, especially if it's regular, you put yourself at risk of developing or worsening circulation problems. This is because you are preventing your body from circulating blood properly.

This kind of bad habit can also make you vulnerable to varicose veins in the long run.

5. Lung Gene

Poor back posture can affect the amount of air that enters your lungs when you breathe. Constantly leaning forward can have a negative influence on your lung function and capacity. When your lungs aren't working as they should, your brain, heart and other vital organs don't get the oxygen they need.

This can result in shortness of breath, poor cognitive function, and heart and vascular disease.

6. Poor sleep quality

bad posture consequence - chronic fatigue

Poor posture can put your entire muscular system in an awkward position. If you can't fully relax your body at night, you can spend the night turning in bed to find a comfortable position for your neck and back.

It can really ruin the quality of your sleep.

7. Difficult digestion

If you have a desk job that requires you to sit most of the day, poor posture can lead to digestive issues. This can compress your organs, slow down the digestive process and cause stomach problems.

8. Lack of motivation

When you don't sit up straight or hold your shoulders back, it can also negatively impact the quality of your work. You will be focused on your feeling of discomfort, rather than on the task at hand.

Poor posture is also associated with low self-esteem and increased stress, according to a Health Psychology study (in English).

9. Depression or bad mood

Just as good posture helps prevent depression, poor posture promotes it.

A study published in the journal Health Psychology reports that people who sat with a slouched posture showed more fear, lower self-esteem and low mood than those who sat properly.

Take this test

Raise your head and straighten your shoulders while sucking in a big blow. Do you suddenly feel this impression of having regained morale and energy? This confirms the impact of the position of the back on morale and the mind.

Just as poor posture can promote depression, good posture can help fight it and improve your mood. A american study found that people with depression showed better self-esteem after sitting with correct posture.

10. Fatigue

Because poor posture increases tension in the body, it can lead to lower energy levels. These stresses tire the body and consume your energy, which causes you to feel almost permanently tired. This fatigue manifests itself in the joints, ligaments, bones and muscles.

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Contrary to what you might think, bad posture works the body more than good posture. If you have good posture, your body will function properly, which will increase your energy levels!

11 causes of poor back posture and solutions

Of course, it would be possible to find hundreds of possible causes. However, I invite you to discover the most common with some possible solutions:

1. School bag or backpack

bad back posture due to backpack

Carrying a fully loaded schoolbag as a child or carrying an overly heavy backpack are common causes of poor posture and curvature of the spine. The weight pushes the shoulders forward, creating a curvature in the back. If you carry the bag on one shoulder, even if it is quite light, then your spine will be unbalanced on one side.

In both cases, this promotes hyperlordosis or scoliosis.

How to correct this problem

Ideally, it is hardly recommended to use classic backpacks (and even less to carry them on one shoulder). Instead, favor triangular backpacks with narrow straps. In this case, the load will be supported by the lower part of the trapezoids which is the strongest.

2. Bad choice of clothes and shoes

It is true that women are often aware of the fact that high-heeled shoes have a negative impact on the spine. But few people know that heelless shoes (tennis, sandals and flip flops) are also harmful. They can promote flat feet and cause orthopedic problems.

Experts believe that beach sandals are the worst option. Their constant use not only leads to the formation of a shuffling gait and an increase in the angle of the foot, but also significantly increases the risk of back pain.

In addition to high heels, wearing boots, tight-fitting clothes, low-rise jeans, and wide belts can also promote poor posture.

How to avoid posture problems due to what we wear

Whenever possible, wear comfortable clothes that don't require you to change your usual posture. Choose shoes that respect the shape of the arch of the foot or add a suitable orthopedic insole.

3. Computer work

bad back posture
Computer work often causes poor back posture (shoulders and neck forward)

Bad posture can be adopted even if you work with the most correct posture possible. Ideally, you should have your feet resting on the ground, have an angle between the hips and the trunk of 90 to 120°, the elbows bent at an angle close to 90°, and the screen at eye level.

Despite all this, problems can arise. The main cause is the unconscious tilting of the neck forward, approaching the screen.

Anyway, if you carefully observe the real position of those who work on computers, you will find that most of the recommendations listed above are not respected. This results in chronic pain in the wrists, neck, back and lower back.

How to fix bad back posture in front of the computer

Start by respecting the above recommendations as much as possible. Then, make a conscious effort not to move your neck forward. This may involve learning to type on the keyboard without looking at the keys 😉

In general, improving your working position means investing in a sit-stand workstation like this one:

Duronic DM05D16 Sit-Stand Workstation 66 cm Height...
  • Duronic's DM05D16 workstation is a...
  • Very easy to operate, this support is delivered ready to use....
  • Compatible with any computer and screen, the surface...

4. Smartphone

Remember what your grandmother did when she first saw a cell phone. Chances are she raised it to eye level to examine it.

Now pay attention to the people around you. Most of them keep it much lower by hunching significantly. This is probably what you are doing too without realizing it.

How to improve your phone posture

The first thing to do is try not to use your mobile while walking, as it not only affects your posture, but also your gait. If possible, use it to surf the Internet or play games while seated, holding it at eye level.

I know this may sound difficult, but it's the price you have to pay if you want to improve your posture. Otherwise, try to limit your time on the Smartphone to the vital minimum.

5. Driving position in car

The car seat is usually quite low, placing the knees higher than usual. It's a bad position for the spine. Add to that the tilt towards the steering wheel and you will not only have back pain, but also a general deterioration in posture.

How to improve your driving position

I'm not going to tell you which car model to choose to have a higher position. As a general rule, it is better to choose models offering a slightly high seat position. If yours isn't, experts advise not only using special seat cushions that lift the pelvis, but also an ergonomic cushion between your lower back and the seat to maintain the curvature. natural spine (lordosis).

The first major back specialist to tackle the problem of car seats was the Dr. Robin McKenzie. He also worked on the design of seats respecting the lumbar curvature for major manufacturers such as Toyota from the end of the 80s. His cushions adapted to daily use are still a reference, such as this one, particularly suitable for car seats:

McKenzie The Original 5" High Density Lumbar Pillow
  • Prevents the onset of pain
  • High-density, relatively firm foam lumbar cushion
  • Decreases the pressure exerted on the lumbar discs when...

6. Sitting position on the couch

Obviously, everything said above also applies to how we sit on the sofa. Many studies suggest that sitting for hours in a bad position can lead to a deterioration of posture as well as the development of different diseases and metabolic disorders.

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Lying on your side (with your head resting on a pillow or elbow) is the worst position of all for your spine health.

What is the correct position?

The correct position for those who sit on the couch is reminiscent of first-class seats on airplanes. Well, maybe like me, you can never afford it. But in these seats, the legs and the head are supported while the angle between the torso and the thighs is 120°.

7. Bad back position at night

We spend about a third of our life sleeping. Therefore, the position taken during sleep is the most natural for our body. If you sleep on your back with a very high pillow, it will undoubtedly lead to a curvature of the spine.

What position to adopt to sleep well

Best positions for sleeping

It is considered that the best position to sleep is on the back with two pillows that support the body: a thin pillow is placed under your head and a medium-thickness pillow is placed under your knees, slightly lifting your pelvis.

Only here, if like me you are unable to close your eyes on the back, what to do?

Unfortunately for me, it's on the window that I sleep the best, but it's not highly recommended. This position puts a lot of pressure on the hips, joints and neck. So I try to sleep regularly on my side because it's a lesser evil.

To sleep on the side tends to put a lot of pressure on the shoulders and hips. To avoid negative impacts, it is better to use a memory foam mattress that can conform to the shape of the body and distribute its weight over its entire length. To limit tension in the hips and knees, I recommend using a leg and knee pillow such as this:

AMERIERGO Memory Foam Knee Pillow for Sleeping...
  • VERSATILE FOR EVERYONE: You can place this pillow...
  • Lateral cushion in memory foam of quality...
  • Breathable and easy to clean cover: the cover of the cushion of...

Bear in mind, however, that it takes a bit of getting used to. But after this period, you will not be able to do without it.

8. Pain or old wounds

When you experience pain in the muscles of your back, neck, or any other part of your body, you tend to overcome the pain by holding your body in a different position.

When this pose is held for a long time, it can become second nature. Therefore, the way you hold yourself today may stem from a muscle pain or problem you've had in the past.

How to reprogram your brain

To correct this bad posture, you will probably need to make a conscious effort for 4 or 5 weeks. It's the only way to get your brain into a new and better habit.

9. Heredity and health problems

If your parents had issues with curvature of the spine, you may have to deal with that too. For women, scoliosis is a very common problem since they represent 80 % of cases. Men who have grown too quickly (like me) are more often affected by lumbar or cervical hyperlordosis.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to maintain your posture in a correct way, these factors prevent you from improving your posture.

How to find relief

Sometimes certain problems require professional help. This is the case when scoliosis is too pronounced, beyond 20 % for example.

However, in the majority of cases, there are exercises that improve posture in these cases. If you look my videos on youtube, you will often see my problem of cervical hyperlordosis. We see less of the lumbar arch thanks to the clothes.

Nevertheless, the fact of weight training every week and using an inversion table to decompress the lower back changes everything for me. I don't feel any pain because the muscles keep my back in the best possible position. It can have the same effect on you, I'm sure!

You will find many inversion tables on Amazon. Read buyer reviews carefully before making your choice, and check that the model fits your size if you are tall.

Yatek Pro Inversion table Maximum load supported 150 kg...
ISE Inversion Table Adjustable Folding Inversion Table with Table...
Sportplus Foldable Inversion Table, with Perfect-Balance System,...
Yatek Pro Inversion table Maximum load supported 150 kg...
ISE Inversion Table Adjustable Folding Inversion Table with...
Sportplus Foldable inversion table with Perfect-Balance system,...
Our opinion
An inexpensive model that supports up to 150 kg and a height of 190 cm
Nothing to say for the price, but not for those over 1.85m
A very good model at a low price that supports 135 kg
Our rating
Current price
Prix indisponible
Prix indisponible
169,99 €
Click for more information
Yatek Pro Inversion table Maximum load supported 150 kg...
Yatek Pro Inversion table Maximum load supported 150 kg...
Our opinion
An inexpensive model that supports up to 150 kg and a height of 190 cm
Our rating
Current price
Prix indisponible
Click for more information
ISE Inversion Table Adjustable Folding Inversion Table with Table...
ISE Inversion Table Adjustable Folding Inversion Table with...
Our opinion
Nothing to say for the price, but not for those over 1.85m
Our rating
Current price
Prix indisponible
Click for more information
Sportplus Foldable Inversion Table, with Perfect-Balance System,...
Sportplus Foldable inversion table with Perfect-Balance system,...
Our opinion
A very good model at a low price that supports 135 kg
Our rating
Current price
169,99 €
Click for more information
ALSO READ:  Scoliosis exercise: 3 rules to correct the back at home

10. Bad eating habits

The spine and the musculature of the back need adequate nutrients to be stronger. poor food nutritional quality are usually associated with a lack of vitamins and calcium.

Over time, this can affect bones and muscles by not providing the strength and flexibility needed to maintain correct posture.

Correct the way you eat

We live in a society that has forgotten what real food is. As much as possible, avoid processed foods to focus on what you find in the fresh produce of your store.

11. Overweight and obesity

Many specialists point out that being overweight contributes to poor back posture.

Women with large breasts tend to have poor posture because the weight of the breasts pulls them forward. People who are overweight in the stomach area often have lower back problems because the lower back is also pulled forward.

Lose weight to improve your posture

Maybe you'll groan when you hear that you need to lose weight to correct your posture. It's true, it's often frustrating, but your health is important and sometimes you have to go through it. And the rule of thumb for getting rid of excess fat is to create a calorie deficit. All the regimes in the world pursue this ultimate goal.

However, you must understand that losing weight does not mean starving yourself. There are natural and uncomplicated techniques to manage to absorb fewer calories without starving. This is exactly what I offer you with the program that you can discover by clicking on the button just below:

Eat to Lose Insert

Are you having trouble losing weight?

You can forget your extra pounds if you follow this new plan with simple actions. Lose up to 1 kilo of fat per week without starving yourself and take back control of your body.

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How to correct bad posture?

In addition to the advice you may have found in the 11 previous points, you can also greatly improve your back posture with these 2 techniques:

posture correctors

Often it's the first thing you think of when you have this kind of problem. Sometimes it's even a medical recommendation if the problem is serious.

A posture corrector can actually provide immediate relief and send a signal to the brain to help it remember the correct back position. You will also notice that most of them favor above all the straightening of the shoulders because this naturally contributes to a good general posture of the back.

Here is a rather cheap model that has a very good rating:

AnNido Posture Corrector for Men and Women
  • ❤【 The unisex size tank top 】: the right shoulder is...
  • ❤Premium Comfortable Material: Made of...
  • ❤【Corrects unhealthy posture】: the posture corrector...

However, I would like to point out that this type of concealer is not always easy to wear under clothing, especially in summer.

So I want to tell you quickly about a T-shirt created by a French company:

Percko T-shirt

For my part, I chose this method, which is much less restrictive and very effective, because it acts as an order giver to the brain rather than as a rectifier. To learn more, you can read my full test on this product.

It is true that this system costs more, but it is clearly worth it if you use it regularly to correct your posture. The Percko t-shirt naturally pushes the muscles in your back to correct your posture.

You will feel some muscle fatigue the first few days, and that's normal. But just like when you exercise, your back muscles will naturally strengthen to improve your posture. After a while, you may even feel the effects when you're not using the Percko. That's pretty amazing!

The brand offers 3 models depending on use: daily (Lyne Up), sport (Lyne Fit) and physical work (Lyne Pro). For my part, I always use the model designed for sport.

back exercises

Of course, it would be completely silly to end this article without talking about the importance of strength training exercises for the back. This is one of the best ways to correct poor posture over the long term.

However, I will not list the exercises to do here since this blog already provides you with everything you need. I therefore invite you to discover the best exercises to strengthen your back and shoulders at home by reading these articles first:

Exercises to correct scoliosis
How to Correct Lumbar Hyperlordosis or Kyphosis
The benefits of an inversion table

Bad back posture: Conclusion

Even if you are young, but spend your time in bad positions, you will pay the consequences of the deterioration of your posture before you are 30 or 40 years old. This leads, among other things, to many chronic back pains, constant fatigue and metabolic disorders.

So you need to correct bad back posture as soon as possible. You will thank me later 😉

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Last update on 2022-11-04 / Affiliate links / Some images are from the Amazon Product Advertising API

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