As our working days are being spent hunched over the desk for 8 to 10 hours everyday, more and more people seem to develop a poor posture. Slumped or slouched posture has always been associated with depression and mental stress. A study done by Harvard university even found that sitting up straight in a good posture improved anxiety, stress and depression symptoms. In this blog, lets discuss how a poor posture lead to anxiety and why it matters?
There is an area in the brain controls the flexion of arms and legs. This same area is activated when you are stressed. When you are stressed your body can go into a fight or flight mode, which means it will either flee (flight) the situation or it will stay and fight the perceived danger. In the flight mode the hamstrings and calf muscles get activated to be able to run away from the danger while in the fight mode the body goes into a flexor dominant posture, that is seen as rounded shoulders, forward head posture (head pushed forward) and rounding of the midback and lower back (slouched or slumped posture).
Stress and poor posture together can cause pain in your muscles, joints and spine (back and neck). One of the common mechanisms for this is the release of stress hormones such as Adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline has the effect of constricting or narrowing your blood vessels. This can lead to insufficient amount of blood flowing to the muscles and they go into tension or tightness/spasm which can create pain. Excessive cortisol can lead to increased inflammation, which in turn causes increased pain or a flare up of pre-existing pain.
The poor posture itself causes change the length tension relationship between the muscles leading to pain. This is easily seen in the rounded shoulder posture where the chest muscles are more contracted than normal and those on the upper back are lengthened.
HERE is a free guide to help you maintain a good posture while working from home and avoid both poor postures and anxiety.
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