9 Ways Posture Affects Your Health That Might Surprise You

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

When you're at your desk sending last-minute emails, or deeply focused on editing that board presentation, your posture is probably the last thing on your mind. There are many times I've caught myself completely slouched over my computer — but only after my back has started to ache. Though most of us probably don't actively think about our posture throughout the day, we probably should: Posture can affect your health in some seriously surprising ways.

Natalie Lovitz, PT, DPT, and Clinical Director of Professional Physical Therapy in New York, NY, tells Bustle that good posture can greatly improve your energy level, and says that "by limiting pain, alignment faults, and sequelae of other injuries caused by poor posture, people are more likely to live an active lifestyle and do so for longer." Moreover, Dr. Kevin Carneiro, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, and Medical Director of UNC Hospitals Spine Center, adds that "good posture allows for easier respiration as you are putting your diaphragm in the optimal position for breathing," which in turn can reduce pain.

While good posture can have major health benefits like better energy and respiratory health, poor posture can actually contribute to some pretty serious health issues — beyond neck or back pain. From fatigue to digestive issues, here are nine ways that experts say your poor posture may be affecting your health — and how to fix it.