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Sit And Walk With Your Head Slightly Forward? This Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Sit And Walk With Your Head Slightly Forward? This Can Seriously Damage Your Health

Our addiction to checking our smartphones, together with leading a sedentary lifestyle which includes sitting down at computers and desks for a majority of our day, can add to bad posture if we’re not consciously thinking about how we sit or the angle of our head.

There are various negative effects brought on by our forward head posture such as major strain on our neck, backs and shoulders and causing misalignment through our spine and the muscles surrounding and supporting these areas.

Bad posture doesn’t just affect the obvious areas in our body but our overall health suffers too – feelings of stress, mood, and even behaviour are all affected by the posture we choose to take each day.

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Negative Effects Of Forward Head Posture

1. Causes misalignment of our spine

The most obvious negative effects of forward head posture is the tensions the occur in the muscles around the neck and spine. Each time we lean forward 60 degrees, we add an increase of 60 pounds of weight into our neck. You can see how adopting this position on a regular basis during the day can cause havoc and pain throughout the neck and back.

Our muscles then try to adapt to the position and cause tension, strain and misalignment in order to protect the spine.

2. Reduces Lung Capacity

Having the head in a forward posture can go on to cause even more health complications. According to Rene Cailliet MD, director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Southern California, having our heads down at an angle when texting, for example, can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine, pulling the entire spine out of alignment and losing up to 30% of vital lung capacity which obviously will affect the efficiency of oxygen getting to the cells in our body.

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3. Increases Risk Of Depression

Poor posture also has been shown to affect depression in people, stress response, self-esteem, body image, as well as brain function and behaviour. A study in Brazil looked at posture in people with chronic depression. The researchers found that when people were going through bouts of depression, their forward head posture was more prominent.

4. Increases Risk Of Heart Disease

Saying your heart can be affected by your forward head posture seems far fetched but chiropractor Adam Meade explains that the curve of your cervical vertebrae are referred to as “the arc of life” by neurosurgeons because it’s these small bones that create the main gateway for the spinal nerves that affect every organ in the body including the heart.

Want To Correct Your Head Posture? Try These Simple Exercises

Doing simple exercises throughout the day can help to realign your neck, spine and muscles in order to help the body function optimally and not be so affected by bad forward head posture.

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Chin Tuck

This exercise helps develop good postural habits if done throughout the day forcing the head and neck into a better position for realignment.

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    • Sit or stand up straight, looking straight ahead. Gently use one finger to push the chin in towards your neck and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this throughout out the day to force your neck to align with the spine.
    • Gently draw your head and chin back like you’re creating a double chin. You can use your fingers to push your chin back but make sure your head is facing forward and not tilting in any direction.
    • Doing this gently, you should feel a stretch along the back of the neck.
    • Release your chin and repeat.
    • Do around 10 reps each hour.

    Shoulder Blade Pinches

    The slouching forward of our shoulders can create tension in our neck, upper and lower back as well as decreasing our lung capacity and compromising the health of our organs. This exercise is designed to realign the back and stretch out the shoulders and rest of the body.

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      via PFC Studio

      • Sitting or standing with your back straight, draw your shoulder blades towards each other. You can interlock your hands behind your back for maximum stretch.
      • Hold this for a few seconds, release and repeat.
      • Try to perform 10 reps every hour throughout the day.

      Featured photo credit: Carlos R via pexels.com

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      Jenny Marchal

      A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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