Yes, we've all been told to "sit up straight" -- or suffer the consequences of poor posture. But that's just not a particularly scary warning. So let us explain it in a way that's a little more specific: A bent spine might mean saggy breasts. (For the solution to a saggy and flabby belly, check out the all-new Belly-Melt Diet.)
Did that get your attention?
Here's how it works: When you slouch forward all the time -- like you probably do while working on your computer or driving your car -- your chest muscles actually stiffen, which pulls your shoulders forward into a permanent slump. The result: A look that's unbecoming to your bosom. Worse, hunching forward also puts more stress on your upper spine, which leads to neck, back, and shoulder pain. Did your neck start hurting one day and never stop? It's probably the result of poor posture.
But bad posture doesn't just mean slumped shoulders. When you sit constantly -- as most of us do -- the muscles on the fronts of your hips become short and tight. What's more, your glutes -- or butt muscles -- actually forget how to contract. (After all, with so much chair time, they're not being used for much of anything except padding for your hip bones.) Now, the combination of tight muscles on the front of your hips and weak muscles on your backside causes your pelvis to tilt forward. This pushes your lower abdomen outward, making your belly pooch out -- even if you don't have an ounce of fat.