What Are the Causes of Poor Posture?

People with poor posture are often thought to have little to no confidence or self-esteem. After all, how you carry your body has a lot to do with how people perceive you. Not only does good posture come across as strong and confident, but also it helps to strengthen the muscles around your spine and neck.Following are some of the root causes of poor posture and how to correct the problem.

  1. Poor Nutrition

    • Nutrition has a lot to do with how well you feel and look. The old adage, "you are what you eat" is popular for a reason --- your spine and bones need nutrients to grow strong and straight. Lack of Vitamin D, calcium and protein will have a negative impact on your bones and muscular system. Malnutrition will also weaken your skeletal structure and may lead to osteoporosis in later years.


    • Likewise, the presence of disease has a debilitating effect on your bones and muscles. Any condition that weakens your immune system, drains nutrients from your body or creates poor cell growth will be harmful in the long run.

      Scoliosis --- named for the Greek word "crooked" --- is a medical condition, not a disease, that plays havoc with the spine by creating a painful, lateral curve. Two percent of women and 0.5 percent of men are affected, most cases caught in adolescence. Causes can be from congenital deformities, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular conditions. The majority of cases, 80 percent, are --- idiopathic --- cause unknown. The Adam's Forward Bend Test is a cursory test for scoliosis, i which the patient leans forward at a 90-degree bend and the trunk is checked for imbalance. Treatment is observation, orthopedic braces, or surgery.


    • Breaking bones, poor healing, and uneven legs can be contributing factors toward poor posture. Even after a bone breaks and re-heals, the adjacent muscles may shrink, and the injured person tends to alter his step or the way he walks to protect that area. All of this creates an imbalance, which causes a deviation in the way one moves, sits and stands.

    Stress & Tension

    • Two of the body's dreaded culprits to health: stress and tension, certainly affect the way we carry ourselves. Unhappy people hunch over, tired folks curve into themselves and stress shows like the weight of the world on our shoulders. Repeated behaviors such as this create muscle weakness, poor breathing habits, and the inability to knowingly stand erect.

    Repeated Behaviors

    • Additional bad "posture" habits include working at a computer for long hours, playing video games or driving for long periods of time. All of these factors contribute to our inability to keep our spines straight. Certain jobs also lead to spine fatigue, such as therapy positions or chiropractic work, which requires bending over for extended periods of time.

    Poor Self-esteem

    • What does how you think about yourself have to do with posture? Plenty. Teenagers are major offenders. Young girls may be shy about getting breasts and will try to appear less conspicuous by caving their chests in. Boys who haven't learned to grow into their height may hunch over to communicate with others.

    Poor Fitting Shoes

    • Women who spend a lot of time walking around in three-inch high heels are likely wreaking havoc with their posture. Shoes that wear unevenly due to overpronation ---pronation is a symptom of the foot rolling in and flattening the arch--- can certainly create poor posture.

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