Is slouching that bad for you? – part 1 23 Oct 2020We spend the vast majority of our time in static positions — either sitting or standing — when the temptation to slump and sag is just too great. Most of us know from experience that sitting hunched in front of a computer or driving wheel can lead to a stiff, painful back and shoulders.
But in this blog article and the next three, I want to explain how poor posture can lead to other health problems . . . It may raise your blood pressure.... The usual risk factors for high blood pressure are age, being overweight, smoking and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. But scientists now think slouching may trigger it, too. This is because there is a link between neck muscles and the area of the brain that helps regulate blood pressure. In a study published in 2007, neuro-scientists at the University of Leeds found that when cells in the neck muscles sense the neck is moving, they send a signal to that area of the brain. The theory is that this helps ensure adequate blood supply when we change posture, for example from sitting to standing. But if the neck muscle cells become damaged or pressured through stooping and slumping, this could trigger problems with blood pressure, suggests Professor Jim Deuchars, the scientist who led the study. He adds that this might explain why some people who suffer whiplash injuries notice a change in their blood pressure — sometimes it’s higher, sometimes lower. ‘It’s possible that poor posture, which compresses the neck muscles, may be involved in high blood pressure, too, but more research is needed.’