NZ Woman's Weekly

Sitting Pretty

Sitting Pretty

SEVEN REASONS NOT TO SLOUCH

1 IT CAN RAISE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
Scientists think slouching may trigger high blood pressure, due to the fact there is a link between neck muscles and the area of the brain that helps regulate it. It’s believed that when cells in the neck sense movement, they send signals to the brain that ensure we get adequate blood supply. But if those muscles are damaged thanks to slumping, they don’t do their job properly.

2 WATER WORKINGS
Sitting upright, with your spine in its correctly aligned position, enables the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder, to work efficiently. Slouching means there’s more weight bearing down on your bladder and pelvic floor, which can weaken muscles over time and make you more likely to leak urine.

3 HAPPIER DAYS
Research shows our posture can affect mood and you’re more likely to feel miserable if you slouch. Standing up straight with your shoulders back sends a message to your brain that helps you feel better about yourself.

4 TRIGGERS FOR HEARTBURN
Slumping affects the alignment of the whole body and one of the consequences can be heartburn. That’s because when your body is tipped forward, the
muscle which stops stomach acid from flowing back up the oesophagus and causing the horrible burning sensation of heartburn gets out of line with the oesophagus and stops working efficiently.

5 IT CAN CAUSE BREATHING PROBLEMS
Lungs work best when they are vertical, but they can become compressed if you are bent forward and not work as well. While most people won’t notice a big difference, it can particularly affect asthmatics or people with lung disease and respiratory conditions.

6 HEADACHES AT A PINCH
If you spend hours sitting at a desk and tend to suffer from headaches, your posture could be to blame. If your spine slumps, your body will compensate by sticking your neck and chin forward to keep your eyes in a good position to still see your computer screen. This can pinch nerves, leading to a headache in which the pain starts at the back of the head and travels up and over to the forehead.

7 WIN THE BATTLE WITH BLOATING
Stooping squashes the abdomen, making it feel even more full than it might already be, especially if you have just eaten. Sitting up straight after a meal makes it easier for the body to digest food properly.

Oct-27-2014-issue

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