There are a number of different positions that people get into every day without realizing that what they are doing is causing harm to the body. These are positions and habits that we often don't give a second thought.

They've just become a part of us. If done once or twice, they will have little to no effect on our health. But done daily, these habits add up to hours and hours of time spent in less than ideal body positions.

Over time, these positions will not only cause muscle tightening and strain, but will eventually lead to pain and discomfort that negatively affect your health. Here are the five most common unhealthy body habits:

1. Crossing of the legs while sitting

Sitting in this position not only causes the hip joints to be crossed which is the definition of poor sitting posture but over the course of time leads to strain of the hips eventually causing lower back pain.

2. Crossing of the arms while standing

This position not only projects insecurity and doubt but leads to poor positions of the upper back and shoulders by creating a rounded posture. This will cause strain of the upper back and neck and induces extension of the lower back causing increased tightness.

3. Leaning on one leg

Repositioning of the body weight towards one hip over a prolonged period of time causes shifting in the pelvis that leads to straining of the hips and lower back pain. Also, the weight shift will increase pressure inside the knee and will tighten the IT bands.

4. Slouching

Whether on the couch or sitting at the computer this is the most common position that people find themselves in every day. Abnormal body positioning over the course of hours while slouching will cause abnormal muscle strain of the lower back and neck.

5. Sleeping with arms overhead

While most people will fall asleep in this position while lying on the couch or if they are too tired from work and “pass out” from exhaustion. With the arms overhead, an abnormal amount of pressure is placed on the shoulders and upper back. Some people will even wake up with their arms “asleep”, which means that too much nerve pressure was created in the upper back and lower neck.

One of the best things to do as a reminder to not undo your healthy body is to set an alarm on your phone or watch. This will alert you to practice better posture and avoid any slouching, crossing of the legs or shifting of the hips.

The alarm can remind you to uncross your arms as well when talking to others so that you portray better body language. Another helpful tip is to only use the couch for social sitting and not working. This is a difficult habit to start but if practiced over time it will help reduce the risk of any neck or back pain from watching endless hours of television or working on the computer.

Do yourself a favor and don’t undo the healthy body that you have. You only have one, so make it last a lifetime. Realize that our health is the result of our daily habits and our daily small decisions that build up over time. Choose wisely and your body will thank you.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Brandon Siegmund is a chiropractor in Houston, TX and a graduate of Texas Chiropractic College. His bio page is located here.