Straighten Up! How Bad Posture Hurts Your Health

attractive woman sitting in window on laptop
The typical bad posture symptoms that most people are familiar with include a painful back, as well as an aching neck and shoulders. But according to recent research, not standing and sitting up straight can set you up for some surprising health problems.

Unhealthy Symptoms Of Bad Posture

It hurts your life expectancy…

A recent Australian study found that after the age of 25, every single hour of television—i.e., slouching on the couch—reduced the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. Plus, when English researchers cross-referenced sitting time with health outcomes in a different study, they found that those people who sat the most more than doubled their risk of developing diabetes and had a 147 % increase in their risk for cardiovascular disease, even if they exercised.

The fix: Stand up from chair without using arms and sit down in a smooth and controlled motion. “Just doing this simple move can keep your lower body muscles very strong,” says Novak.

It hurts your circulation…

“Our bodies are machines that move fluid and gases back and forth,” says Weiniger. Prolonged sitting, especially with your legs crossed, can cut off the flow, increase pressure and even cause spider veins.

The fix: To get blood flowing to your lower body, Weiniger says to stand up and find your best posture (these six tips can help you figure it out), then lift one leg up so your thigh is horizontal to ground. Keep your standing leg locked (not hyperextended) and…