Negative effects of bad posture

Updated July 18, 2017

Bad posture occurs when you hold yourself in a way that your body's natural alignment is compromised. It can come in the form of slouching, overarching, hunching, forward head placement and awkward pelvic placement. Bad posture causes and exacerbates many health problems that affect bones, muscles, nerves, veins and organs.

Tension Headaches

Bad posture is a leading cause of tension headaches, which mainly afflict women over the age of 20. Bad posture puts stress on the muscles of the neck and head. The tightening of those muscles leads to these headaches.

Back and Neck Pain

Muscles in the back and neck strain when a person has bad posture. It may also constrict the nerves and blood vessels in those areas. These problems lead to pain in the neck and back, which can become chronic. Adjusting your posture to a better position helps improve back and neck pain caused by bad posture.

Acid Reflux & Heartburn

Heartburn & Acid Reflux are conditions that make you feel as if your throat, stomach and chest are burning. Despite the name, heartburn is a digestive problem, not a heart problem. You can relieve heartburn and acid reflux by correcting your posture.

Breathing Difficulties

Slouching is one example of bad posture and one that can affect your breathing. Slouching constricts your lungs and diaphragm, which makes it difficult to breathe properly. Taking a deep, full breath is impossible when your diaphragm is constricted. If you slouch on a regular basis, shallow breathing can become habitual. Wearing loose, comfortable clothing and utilising good posture can help you breathe fully.


Bad posture is not aesthetically pleasing. It can leave you looking like you have a hunch in your back. It can cause you to over arch your lower back. A slouch gives the impression a person is depressed. Good, strong posture makes you look taller and more alert.


Sciatica is back and leg pain caused by a compressed sciatic nerve. Bad posture compresses this nerve over time as your muscles and joints conform to your bad posture. This creates muscle and bone conditions that put pressure on the sciatic nerve. You can reverse muscle and bone conditions that cause sciatica with treatment and posture correction.

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About the Author

Shelly Barclay began writing in 1990, focusing on fiction. She has been writing nonfiction articles since 2008. Her work appears on various websites, focusing on topics such as history, cooking, scrapbooking, travel and animals. Before she began writing, Barclay was a line cook for 10 years.