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Picture a lazy Sunday afternoon, when you are lounging on the couch in front of the TV and your mom hands you a plate with your lunch. But instead of sitting up and eating it, you stay in the same laid back position and start having your food. What happens next? You get an earful from your mom about how you should sit up straight when eating food because it is disrespectful. Our moms are right but it is not just about disrespecting food, there are scientific reasons why one should not eat in a slouched posture.
Health Shots reached out to Himalyan Siddha Akshar, Founder, Akshar Yoga Research and Development Centre to give us his insights on the topic. He says, “You can improve digestion with proper posture. A healthy digestive system doesn’t begin with your gut – instead, it starts with your posture. Correcting your posture is one of the simplest ways that you can manage your digestive system.”
Akshar also explains how we can correct our posture and the way it eases our digestion.
You can sit upright on a chair or in Sukhasana (Cross-legged) on any comfortable surface. The point is to sit up straight. If you are sitting on a dining table, make sure your chair is close to the table so that you don’t have to bend forward while eating. And if you are sitting cross-legged on the floor or bed, keep your plate on a raised surface to avoid slouching.
Sitting up straight could support better digestion. If you want your digestive system to function at its optimal, you must assist in the process known as peristalsis. This is when your stomach and intestinal walls contract during a series of coordinated movements. This is the process that allows our food to travel throughout the digestive system. This enables efficient delivery of all the nutrients to keep us healthy.
Slouching and poor posture affects the process, causing peristalsis to halt. Food in your digestive system gets constricted when you sit in a poor posture. When there is a decrease in digestion, it leads to a decrease in energy. This is because your body has to make a great effort to process foods and absorb nutrients. This leads to digestive issues such as production of gas, painful constipation, and acid reflux.
So, next time don’t give your mom a chance to scold you and sit up straight!