5 Negative Effects of Poor Posture That You Probably Haven’t Thought Of



I’ve discussed with a few parents in the clinic lately the effects of posture on their child’s function. Their response was “wow, I didn’t even think of that”….so I figured, I needed to share it with everyone so you can also be aware!

Aside from the typically thought of effects of poor posture such as: increased risk of scoliosis, abnormal spine curvature, increased risk of contractures/muscle tightness, there are several more that could be affecting your loved one that you don’t realize is contributed to poor posture and alignment.

We all know poor posture is bad for us and how hard it is for us to correct ourselves daily…but imagine it for someone in a wheelchair, or perhaps with low tone and muscle weakness. Not only is it hard for them to correct their own posture, but its even harder to notice it. Improving strength and posture is CRUCIAL for not only us, but for your loved ones also and here’s why…

1. Decreased Digestive Motility

As if decreased time upright/standing wasn’t against your child already for this factor, poor posture can also be contributing. Even if your loved one is able to walk around… do they need to sit more frequently? Are they slouched or slumped over due to limited endurance or muscle weakness? If your loved one is slumped over, it changes the positioning of the intestinal tract and can cause it to squish together and limit the ability to digest. Squish together may not have been the best or most fancy terms but think about it! There’s less room so less ability or slower movement of your digestion. Not only is this not good for your intestines but it can also be really uncomfortable or painful! Is Miralax or a probiotic part of your child’s everyday routine? If so…try different methods for strengthening and improving posture and it could help improve their GI motility!


2. Restricted Respiration

If you haven’t heard of this one, its so important! MANY children have difficulty with respiration, especially if they are seated for most of the day. With poor posture, your diaphragm actually flattens and has a decreased ability to rise while breathing in. Therefore, you decrease your lung volume per breath and your effort for simple breathing increases. We do not need any more complications then there may already be!


3. Headaches

Yup. Even if your loved one is non-verbal or has difficulty communicating these types of issues, their poor posture could be causing headaches. If there is tension in the muscles at the base of your skull (in your neck), your Trigeminal nerve can actually get pinched and cause a headache. Best way to prevent this would be stretch and of course, improve posture with head and neck control for better long term effects!


4. Increased Blood Pressure

Bet you didn’t think of this one! How? Your neck muscle cells signal your brain to sense movement…especially as your body changes posture and position for measuring adequate blood supply. Over time with poor posture, these cells can get damaged and it can actually raise your blood pressure! If your loved one has tight muscles in their neck it most likely is having internal effects you may not even be thinking about.


5. Decreased Focus and Attention

A culmination of many factors leads to this very important point. Scientific evidence actually explains that poor posture is directly correlated with decreased focus and attention. If you are poorly positioned, you will have a decreased alertness to your environment. Your body is also working harder for breathing so there is less focus on an individual task. Due to poor posture/positioning, it can inhibit blood flow to and from the heart and decrease alertness and interaction within your environment.


Crazy right? Who would have thought that all of these factors can be cause from one very simple explanation….POOR POSTURE. While some may be less severe consequences than others, over time, these factors add up and can cause further issues down the line. Not sure where to go with this information? Talk to your loved one’s therapist and see if there are methods you can try at home, or they can implement to improve posture for overall improved function. IT IS SO IMPORTANT.

Keep following our blog and I will be sure to add some information on how to improve posture and positioning! If you have any questions about your specific situation, feel free to give me a call at 631-348-0959 or email at christine@breakthroughptli.com. We will help you in any and all ways that we can!

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Christine Astarita