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How Poor Posture Can Affect your Digestion

Everyone’s guilty of poor posture once in a while, but if you often catch yourself hunched over when you’re sitting, standing, or walking, you could actually be harming your health. Bad posture can lead to a number of problems, including commonly known issues like back pain and spinal issues. But, constantly slumping can also have a variety of less talked about side effects, including causing digestive problems. 

The Effects of Poor Posture on Digestion

When you eat, your diaphragm works to move food through your oesophagus and down to your gut, with a system to prevent stomach acid from rising up and into your mouth. But, if you eat in a slouched position, you put a whole lot of tension on your diaphragm that its not used to, causing it to stop working as it should. The result of this can be a mixture of acid reflux, heartburn. and bloating – neither of which are very comfortable.  So, if you find yourself having to take tablets after you eat to prevent these unwanted problems, it could be time to take a look at your posture as you eat instead.

Tips to Improve Your Posture

If you think you might have some issues with posture and digestion, there are plenty of ways you can improve yours and help your food go down a little better. 

  • Eating at work – If you eat at your desk at work frequently it’s likely your hunching over your table, bending down to eat, which definitely won’t help with your digestion. To help stop this, make sure you have a comfortable chair that’s optimized to help posture, and hold what you’re eating in your hands, bringing the food to your mouth rather than going down to it.
  • Eating at home – A lot of us have switched to eating at the table for slouching on the sofa, which is terrible for posture. Try and make more of an effort to sit at the table on a proper chair when you eat; this simple change will do wonders for your posture. As when at your desk, make sure you’re bringing the food to your mouth rather than bending to it, too.
  • Be mindful – Try and think of your posture as you eat, making it a conscious decision to sit straight if your automatic response is to slouch. Eventually, you’ll retrain your brain to automatically sit like this.
  • Workout – Strengthening your core muscles is a great way to improve your posture and help digestion. Take a look at yoga or pilates – both have great, gentle exercises that anyone can do to improve core strength.

Postural Correction Services

At Canary Wharf Chiropractic, we can help correct bad posture to ease a whole range of problems, including posture-related digestion. Our experienced chiropractitioners can show you how you should be standing and sitting, analyse how you currently are, and direct you to the right correctional treatments. 

If you’d like to know more, get in touch with our team and we’ll answer any questions you have, or book in for a consultation today.

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Exercises you can Do at your Desk to Improve your Posture

It’s common knowledge by now that sitting at a desk all day can be harmful for our posture. For a lot of us, our day jobs involve being hunched over a computer or laptop, and we’re already feeling the negative impacts that can have on our general wellbeing and back health. Bad posture at your desk can result in the following:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Elbow pain
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Neck pain
  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Back pain (upper, mid and lower)

Slouching and leaning over our desks make bad posture an easy (but damaging) habit to get into. Addressing your bad posture might seem like a lot of effort, but there lots of easy exercises you can do to take the pressure off and relieve some of that tension, and in-turn improve your posture too!

5 easy things you can do at your desk to improve posture

Tip 1: Keep your ears in-line with your shoulders

If you find yourself craning your neck forwards to see your computer screen, then your posture is way off and you need to try and start adjusting it. Your ears should always be inline with your shoulders, and often, this little adjustment can have a knock on effect to the rest of your posture too. So it’s a good exercise to ensure you keep this in check throughout the day.

Tip 2: Every hour, consciously reset your posture

It’s a good idea to set yourself a phone reminder every hour to reset your posture. Even if you start the day with best intentions, sat in your ideal body posture, in 45 minutes you might have already slipped out of it into bad habits. When your posture reminder goes off, bring your head back so it’s level with your shoulders, pull your shoulders back, push your chest out, straighten your spine and uncross your legs.

Tip 3: Head rolls

A head roll is a basic exercise where you let your head roll slowly from one shoulder to the other. The key is to do this slowly and gently, and to take deep, long breaths. When done right it can help relieve tension in your neck and shoulders, which gives way to a better and more relaxed posture.

Tip 4: Shoulder shrugs

Shoulder shrugs are another way to encourage your body to release tension and relax. Shoulder shrugs involve revolving your shoulders in circles – raising them up to your ears and then back down again. A lot of people who work with computers carry a lot of tension in their shoulders, so this can be a key exercising to unlocking better posture and feeling more flexible and relaxed.

Tip 5: Fingertips to toes stretch

A few times a day it’s good to engage your whole body in an all-over stretch. The fingertips to toes stretch involves stretching out as long as you can and focussing on engaging the whole body and all your muscles in the stretching motion. You can do this in your seat, by reaching up and back with your arms, and reaching forwards and up with your legs under the desk. Use this as a chance to reset your posture afterwards too.

image of man stretching

How to Maintain Good Posture

You probably remember as a child being told to “Stop slouching in your chair!” and to “Stand up straight!” At the time it was irritating, but all those years later you’re starting to realise the importance of a good posture.  Poor sitting and standing habits can cause muscle tension and over time, create discomfort and chronic pain illnesses. Bad posture takes a toll on the whole of your body – your spine, neck, shoulders, hips and knees. Actively maintaining a good posture and trying to correct common habits can really help long term health. Read more