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September 14, 2016 4 min read

photo of 2 women slouching


What does this image say to you?

a. Glamorous, sophisticated, cool

b. Lazy, weak, timid

c. Bored, resentful, defiant

Like it or not, posture sends a message: "This is who I am this moment"

Slouching. We all do it from time to time.

Putting aside constant tightness in the shoulders and upper back, what are the real consequences of a droopy posture?  

Most obvious, slouching looks bad. It’s impossible to project confidence if you look like you are caving in on yourself. Amy Cuddy did an excellent study on first impressions and the power dynamics of this visual judgment. You can see her acclaimed TED talks here.

Slouching is a habit. Our digital lives force us to look down at devices, often for hours every day. Unfortunately, when we look back up, the slouch remains.

Consider this: Healthy brains function by using oxygen. Reducing even 10% of freshly oxygenated blood to the brain over time reduces our brain function. I wonder if "geriatric dementia" is really a chronic insufficient oxygen supply to the brain.

What is the connection between lack of air and posture?

Negatives Attributed to Slouching

Have you ever seen a world class athlete gasping for breath? Never. Along with agility and strength these athletes have made it a habit to lift and opened their chests, head up. They learned good posture is necessary for maximum air exchange.

Regardless if you consider yourself an 'athlete' or not, this is something.

We have all seen runners bent over with a stitch or muscle cramp. That stitch is a result of a build up of CO2. They can't exhale enough used air which cause stitches and muscle cramps. Basically, this is when the amount of used air is more dominant in the lung than fresh air.

We tend to slouch when we are fatigued, making us even more fatigued. 

Sitting in a slumped position puts excessive pressure on the lungs. Normal, correct breathing in this position is almost impossible simply because there is not enough room for the lungs to expand. When slouching we only the upper portion of the lung. It is no surprise that often we feel slow, with brain fog. We're not getting enough air. A lot of this fatigue starts off with a failure to having the best posture corrector for the neck.

Now we need to practice full lung breathing!

In addition to the lungs, poor posture compromises other organs like the heart, liver, pancreas, and gut. Slouching makes it almost impossible for them to function at 100 percent.   

posture slouching spine alignment

Orthopedic Changes As A Result Of Slouching

We’ve all seen the elderly people hobbling along all hunched over. Why don’t they just stand up?!

Unfortunately, years of slouching make this impossible. Weak back muscles and chronic forward pressure on the bones in the spine have shorten it. A perfect set up for spinal stenosis, compression fractures, etc..

Twenty five percent of all post menopausal women will experience at least one compression fracture.These fractures are not because of a fall but from bad posture!

posture stand tall spine alignment

The arrows (above) show the bones are fractured.

Years of looking down, coupled with poor posture causes the bones to degenerate.

multiple x rays of slouching spines

I have seen many patients in our practice, some as young as 40, who are unable to lay on their back without using a pillow. They simply CANNOT put their head back! The bones in their cervical spine are misshaped, never to return to normal.

This comes about because of inflexibility and weak muscles in the thoracic spine being unable to hold the head in the correct position which is supposed to be On TOP of the body. Slouching always puts the head out IN FRONT of the body.

Of course, once the bones are misshaped, looking over your shoulder when driving is not easy. Quick movements of the head often cause sharp pain. Frequently, many experience numbness and tingling in their hands.  

Most of the time, this is NOT CAUSED BY ONE TRAUMATIC INJURY but rather by an accumulation of many minor injuries. Poor posture accelerates bone degradation adding to the problem, if it is not the main cause.



The point is NOT TO allow slouching to compromise your health. If your "normal" is a slouching posture, take some steps to reverse this bad habit.


Here are a few suggestions to get you started on better posture.

  • Embrace the idea that you must reverse the bad habit of slouching.
  • Lift your chest, roll your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Raise your chin up, tilt your head back and look up at the ceiling, stretching the front of your neck.
  • Sit up tall, when sitting down. Practice over and over again. This is one of the main things that can help you when trying to figure out how to prevent shrinking with age.
  • Pull your arms behind you, clasp your hands together and stretch your chest. Do not lean forward.
  • When exercising, check your posture first. If you start leaning forward, its probably fatigue, slow it down, regroup. You can do a simple posture exam here.
  • Start focusing on your shoulders, and learning more about the knot in my shoulder.

And for goodness sake, listen to your mother. "Stand up straight!"


To jump start your quest for better posture try PurePosture. This one-of-a-kind device will align your spine, increase flexibility and solve neck and back pain. It easy to use, fast, safe and effective. Check it out.