You may only have some of them, you may even have all of them, but the signs of bad posture you have are clear for everyone to see…including you. If you know what to look for! These are the 7 most common signs of bad posture that you’re likely to see in yourself, your friends or family so keep your eye out!
1. Forward head carriage
How far forward does your head poke? Forward head carriage is usually the most common sign of bad posture. With good posture you want to see the hole in your ear sit over the middle of your shoulder. The further forward your head goes the more pressure it puts on the muscles and joints through your neck which lead to structural changes in your body that cause pain.
2. Slumped Shoulders
Slumped or rolled shoulders are another obvious sign of poor posture. Slumped shoulders often occur due to extended periods of sitting especially when leaning forward and staring at a computer screen.
Besides the obvious sign of your shoulders not sitting backwards another thing to look for is how much your chest sticks out. The further forward your shoulders come the more it depresses your chest. This causes tightening of the muscles in your chest as well as your neck and weakness in the muscles that are meant to hold your shoulders back.
3. Hunch Back
Hunch back can sound a little extreme. Generally what you want to look for is an increase in the curve through your mid-back, usually between your shoulder blades. This is known as an increased kyphosis. If you’re noticing an increase in this curve your more than likely going to see both forward head carriage and slumped shoulders as well since they usually come about before the curve in your mid back increases.
4. Anterior Pelvic Tilt (Duck Bottom)
With bad posture your pelvis can change in one of two ways. Anterior pelvic tilt refers to your pelvis tilting into a forward position.
This tilt increases the curve through your lower back leading to more stress being put on certain joints there. On top of this it will lead to tight muscles at the top of your thigh (hip flexors) and very tight muscles in the back of your thigh (hamstrings). You may also notice it causes your stomach and bottom to stick out more than they should.
You’ll notice pelvic tilt in a standing position when you’re looking at yourself from a side on view. You might not be able to see it yourself so ask a friend or family member to check for you. Then look at theirs. Chances are at least one of you will have anterior pelvic tilt. This tends to be seen a lot more in women so ladies stay on the look out!
5. Posterior Pelvic Tilt (Sway Back)
Posterior pelvic tilt moves your pelvis in a backwards position. This a lot more common in men! What you want to look out for is how your pelvis is positioned in relation to your upper body. Again the best way to see this is from a side on view. If you notice that your upper body sways backwards or sits behind your pelvis you may very well have posterior pelvic tilt.
This also leads to a lot of stress on the joints in your lower back and tightening of specific muscles around your back, legs and hips.
6. Shoulder Tilt/Hike
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and noticed one shoulder was higher than the other? You’d be right in thinking it was a sign of bad posture. Shoulder tilt occurs very commonly especially in a society where you most likely tend to be more dominant to one side of your body.
Think about the little things you do. Which side do you carry your bag with, answer your phone with, even brush your teeth with….Maybe you just tend to lean to one side when you’re sitting at your desk. The more you use one side of your body the more overactive the muscles on that side become (specifically the muscles that cause elevation of your shoulder). This leads to hiking or tilting of one shoulder more than the other!
7. Flat Feet
Flat feet are very often missed as a sign of poor posture. Flat feet refers to the collapsing of the arches in your foot and are a sign of bad posture because they alter the biomechanics throughout the rest of your body. Try to picture your body as an entire unit. Changes you get to one area will always lead to changes in another area. (Feet will change the knees, which will change the hips and cause pelvic tilt etc.
Changes to the arches in your feet can lead to increased pressure on the joints in your entire body and also lead to pain.
Do you have Bad Posture?
How many of these bad posture signs do you have? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed gregory via stokpic.com