Can Bad Posture Cause Poor Digestion?

Your daily routine can impact your overall health. The way you handle your daily activities contribute to how you will stay healthy or become sick. For instance, poor working habits can result in neck and back pain, as well as gastrointestinal problems. You might be wondering if poor posture can lead to digestive issues. Read on to find out.

Signs of Poor Digestion

Digestion is one of the most important processes in our body. Proper digestion can help ensure that the body will stay healthy. However, when our digestive system fails to perform correctly, we can be at risk of acquiring diseases. shared some of the common symptoms that you’re having an unhealthy gut:

-          An upset stomach due to constipation, bloating, heartburn, and diarrhea.

-          Sudden losing or gaining weight

-          Constant fatigue

-          Sleep problems

-          Increased sugar cravings

-          Skin problems such as irritation, eczema, and inflammation

-          Food intolerance

You can check more details about the common signs of an unhealthy gut here.

In addition, Medline Plus, also shared a list of the first signs of digestive issues:

-          Nausea and vomiting

-          Bleeding

-          Bloating

-          Incontinence

-          Pain in the belly

-          Sudden weight changes

-          Problems in swallowing

-          Diarrhea

It is important to be aware of these signs of digestive problems to make sure that you can prevent them resulting in bigger health issues. 

Effects of Poor Digestion

Poor digestion should not be taken for granted. When you notice that your body experiences the signs previously mentioned, you need to take proper precautions and medical attention. If not, you can be prone to the various effects of poor digestion.

Long-term effects of poor digestion may include:

-          Being susceptible to illnesses

-          Dull skin and hair

-          Reduced growth

-          Bone problems

-          Lethargy and fatigue

-          Nutritional deficiencies

-          Issues with the body’s energy levels

-          Liver problems

-          Abnormal bowel movements

-          Chronic stress

A 2015 study suggested that there is a strong link between sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal problems.

Although it is evident that sleep disturbances are often found in patients with gastrointestinal disease, it is difficult to determine the cause and effect of the disturbances. There is a unique interplay between certain gastrointestinal diseases and sleep. Poor sleep has been shown to result in the exacerbation of gastrointestinal symptoms. Conversely, many gastrointestinal diseases affect the sleep-wake cycle and lead to poor sleep”, a part of the study mentioned.


Yes, Bad Posture Can Lead to Poor Digestion

Your posture can impact the process of digestion. It is observed that digestion happens more slowly when you’re lying down. On the other hand, digestion is faster when you’re moving or standing up. Sadly, most of us are working or doing some activities with poor posture. Some of us are often slouching and slumping. These habits can lead to poor digestion because the digestive tract can be pressed. Not only that, there will be times that digestion can be painful.

Digestive issues can be due to a range of several factors, however, poor posture can be a factor that causes stomach issues. Acid reflux and heartburn are some of them.

As previously mentioned, slouching can compress the organs responsible for digestion. The abdomen and the rest of the organs may have a hard time digesting the food. This also causes lowered metabolism.

Willow Life UK shared an article that discussed how posture might be affecting digestion. Part of the article highlighted the following:

“Your diaphragm—the muscle which stretches around your abdomen in a band at the bottom of your lungs, right across your stomach—plays an important role in helping food to move through your esophagus and your gut. Your oesophagus runs through the muscular part of the diaphragm, and when it contracts it allows food to pass through whilst preventing stomach acid from rising into the mouth. If you put unnatural tension on your diaphragm through a slouched posture, it prevents it from working naturally and is likely to result in acid reflux and/or bloating, as it struggles to contract and relax effectively. An over-contracted diaphragm will result in the ‘tight’ feeling across your stomach, like a belt done up too tight, and will restrict the amount of space available in your stomach; this is responsible for that familiar bloated sensation.”

Aside from promoting good posture, it is also advisable to be mindful of what you wear, according to Willow Life UK. Avoid wearing tight clothes that may constrict the stomach.


A 2003 study concluded that body posture has a big influence on intestinal gas propulsion: there is a faster transit during an upright position compared to a supine position. A part of the study stated:

“In the upright position, gas transit and evacuation were faster than in the supine position, and the first 10 ml of gas were collected from the rectum 10 (2) minutes after starting the infusion (p<0.05 v supine). During the first 30 minutes, only 23 (10)% of the volume infused was retained in the gut (p<0.05 v supine) but this initial retention was rapidly cleared out from the gut.”

To ensure a healthy gut, we need to learn some important tips to promote good posture, whether at home or at work.

Tips to Improve your Digestion by Improving your Posture

The following are tips you should consider to help improve your digestion:

#1 Try to stand after eating. As mentioned earlier, body posture has a significant impact on the digestion process. You can also have a short, gentle walk after your meal to aid the digestion process.

#2 Sit straight to promote proper posture when eating so that compressing and squashing of the abdomen will be avoided. Have your legs positioned into a more open angle, instead of a complete right-angle to the spine. This can help provide more space for your gut, thus, performing better digestion.

#3 Avoid wearing tight clothes so that you will not compress or constrict the stomach.

#4 Use natural supplements such as peppermint and ginger. These plants can help ease digestion issues.

#5 Drink plenty of liquids like water and juices. Also, eat foods rich in fibre to aid digestion.

#6 Perform some gentle yoga stretches; these can also help lengthen your gut and mobilize digestion.

#7 Apply proper ergonomics when working. There are times people sit immediately after they finish a meal. If that’s not unavoidable, make sure to use a standing desk instead of a traditional desk. It can help promote good posture by allowing you to alternate between sitting and standing. 

Final Thoughts

Many people are now suffering from digestion problems. Poor posture is still a least-known verdict when it comes to poor digestion. It is known that the best posture that is beneficial for the stomach to digest foods is the upright body position. And since most of us eat while seated, it is just proper to keep an upright position to aid the digestive process and improve metabolism.