Rounded shoulders, are a part of overall bad posture, and they can get worse if left untreated. 95% of the population spend their time with hunched shoulders over a computer or their phones for the better part of the day.

There are a few simple exercises that can help keep the shoulders in their correct position and relieve the stress caused by slumping.


Stress, in everyday terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands.

These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.

Stress can be a motivator. It can be essential to survival. The “fight-or-flight” mechanism can tell us when and how to respond to danger. However, if this mechanism is triggered too easily, or when there are too many stressors at one time, it can undermine a person’s mental and physical health and become harmful.

Changes to the body

Stress slows normal bodily functions, such as the digestive and immune systems. All resources can then be concentrated on rapid breathing, blood flow, alertness, and muscle use.

How we react to a difficult situation will affect how stress affects us and our health. A person who feels they do not have enough resources to cope will be more likely to have a stronger reaction, and one that can trigger health problems. Stressors affect individuals in different ways.

Some experiences that are generally considered positive can lead to stress, such as having a baby, going on a trip, moving to a nicer house, and being promoted.

This is because they often involve a major change, extra effort, new responsibilities, and a need for adaptation. They are also steps into the unknown. The person wonders if they will cope.

Causes and risk factors

Posture is an example of how a person’s habits can affect their physical body. Conditions such as text neck and rounded shoulders are some of the most common ways poor posture begins.

Any activity that causes the body to look down and forward for long periods of time can contribute to slumped shoulders.

These positions disrupt how the muscles in the neck, back, and shoulders normally function. It is these muscles that control the way the body maintains its posture throughout the day.

Daily tasks that may contribute to rounded shoulders include:

  • using a smartphone or tablet
  • using a computer or laptop
  • sitting for long periods
  • driving a vehicle
  • bending over repeatedly
  • carrying heavy objects all day

The risks of rounded shoulders include the negative impact they can have on health and appearance.

By inadvertently training the body to be hunched forward over time, the muscles interpret this slumped position as the body’s natural state. This can be very harmful for the body if left untreated.

Increased stress on the shoulder joints can cause pain around the neck and upper back.

It is best to correct rounded shoulders by adjusting the posture as soon as possible, developing daily habitis such as chest stretches will help the shoulders open up and improve your posture.

Exercise: Next level Chest Stretch

  1.  Lie on a foam roller (long one against your spine)
  2.  Hold light weights 1 – 2kg in each hand.
  3.  Slowly externally rotate your arms (refer to picture below)
  4.  Let gravity take your hands to the floor
  5.  Hold the stretch for 2- 5 mins (2 x day)


For more information about exercises and osteopathy contact us

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