Slouching is very common for people like me who have desk jobs and have to sit for long hours every day. It is so common that even while writing this article, I found myself slouching. You must have heard from your mother, or someone else that slouching is bad, and you have to stand straight and keep your posture upright while you are sitting!!
I have noticed my mother always pointed out to sit straight when I am slouching while sitting. At that time, I would sit up straight with proper posture. But you know, slouching feels so comfortable, and it is hard to give up old habits as well.
Generally, slouching feels comfortable because it reduces the use of neck and back muscles compared to the time when you are up straight with proper posture. It takes pressure from your muscles, and it puts stress on your bones and cartilages. It takes less effort than sitting straight. As pressure is removed from muscles and spine, they are relieved from stress and use less energy, and thus you feel comfortable while slouching.
Despite the comfortable feeling that slouching provides, people say it contributes to various physical problems like bad posture. I have done a little survey where 87% of people said they love to slouch. While almost all of them actually know that slouching compromises posture.
They do it just because it feels comfortable. Even some people don’t realize that they are slouching until someone points it out. So if you want to know more about why it is comfortable to slouch, is it bad, and how can you stop slouching, keep reading!
You might already know, the term slouching represents sitting or standing with a bad posture in an awkward position bending forward.
Is Slouching actually Bad?
As I noted earlier, I did a little survey on slouching. Most of the people (90.50%) think that slouching is bad. However, there are some people who think that it is actually good. I will explain why they think that later, but no matter whatever you think, slouching is bad for you, and that’s medically proven [Source].
In the short term, slouching is not problematic at all. It gives you comfort by reducing pressures on your muscles and spine.
But in the long run, it compromises your posture. As slouching becomes a habit, and you start to lean forward regularly to stay comfortable, it may start bending your spine. In extreme cases, it can also cause Scoliosis.
It is also reported by some health experts that slouching can lead to soreness in hips, ankles, and knees as well. As you slouch forward, the stability of the spine is disrupted. It should be taking the load directly, but due to slouching, it does not, and the load is compensated by your shifting the load in other places, which creates the problem.
In recent studies, it is found that slouching reduce the vertebral fluid, which is restored when you are sleeping. When you are slouching regularly, the fluid level is not restored properly, and your vertebral column gets compromised along with Its shape and properties. This might cause back pain, as well.
Why do people Slouch?
Current studies showed that people who have desk jobs sit for 6-8 hours daily. When they sit for this long, it is obvious that their neck and back muscles get fatigued. So to reduce pressure on their muscles, people naturally lead forward, and this results in a slouch position.
Even though you are not slouching, sitting for that long is going to cause back and neck pain at some point.
How do you know if you are Slouching?
From my personal experience, I have seen most of the time, I used to slouch without even realizing that I am actually slouching. According to my survey, the majority of people (97.5%) don’t even realize that they are slouching until someone else points it out to them.
So if you want to check whether you are slouching or not, check your sitting or standing posture. You can look into the mirror and check if you are sitting or standing up straight or your back is bent, and your head is leaning forward. If you find yourself leaning a bit more towards your desk while sitting and you are not sitting with a good posture, then you are slouching. You can also look into the mirror and check if your palms face backward or not. If yes, you are most probably slouching.
Is it Possible to Stop Slouching?
It is very easy to stop slouching. All you have to is to be careful about your posture, and you can also start doing some exercises to make your core muscles stronger. This will help you to stop slouching for sure.
Some Tips to stop Slouching:
Sit correctly with Good Posture:
While sitting, try to ensure good posture by sitting up straight while keeping your shoulder relaxed. The height of your seat is very much important. Adjust that perfectly. If you want to know about the perfect seat height for you, we have a seat height calculator for your height here.
Also, try to sit all the way back on your chair so that the backrest supports your back and spine well. The most important thing that you must remember is that you should not bend your head forward or backward too much while sitting and looking at your screen. Adjust your computer screen to an optimum level so that you won’t need to do that.
Try to Stand up straight Always:
The way you stand can make a lot of difference in your posture. Don’t bend your head forward. Always try to stand straight, normally keeping your shoulder relaxed. If you stand in one place for a long time, keep shifting your weight to your heel from toes and from one foot to another.
Build Strong Core Muscles:
If you want to maintain a good and healthy posture, you must give importance to building strong core muscles. If your core is stronger, your muscles are usually strong and get less fatigued while you are sitting for long hours or standing.
SO, consider building your core muscles. I think the best exercise to do that s planks. Doing plank is really effective for your core muscles. This will definitely help you to stop slouching, and this exercise will also prevent back pain and stiffness of back muscles.
Move Around More:
If you sit for long hours at a stretch, you are more likely to develop back pain as you will be slouching a lot. Most of the people who have desk jobs sit more than 40 hours per week.
If you sit long hours, your back and neck muscles become fatigued, and you are more likely to start slouching to compensate for that fatigue.
To avoid slouching, I recommend you to take little breaks and move around, and you might even wanna stretch a little bit. This will reduce stiffness that might occur in your back due to sitting for long hours and fewer movements. You can take a coffee break or walk around your room. Just engage in some activities other than sitting. This will help you more than anything if you want to stop slouching today.
Try to Get More Flexible:
If your muscles are not flexible enough, you might experience some imbalances in muscle alignment. This is very common among people who sit for long hours and have desk jobs. Their muscles become stiff, and this lack of flexibility can lead to a bad slouching habit, which might get very hard to give up.
So, try to get engaged in some sort of physical activity or exercise program that requires the use of your back and neck muscles. I would recommend hitting the gym 3-4 times a week. The bottom line is, if your muscles are strong, you will look better and slouch less often.
My Recommendation for a Slouch Proof Chair:
There is actually no such thing as a complete slouch proof chair. However, there is a chair that I found to promote active sitting, and it actually makes slouching a little bit harder. I am talking about All33 Backstrong C1 Chair. We have a whole article where we reviewed this chair. You can find it here.
Even though slouching feels comfortable at times. But if you have read this far, you might already know that slouching is actually bad for us. As Professor Hulk said, your mother knows the best. So if your mother has ever warned you or scolded you not to slouch, listen to her. Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!