Is sitting really the new smoking?

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Our backs were never designed to spend long periods of time sitting at desks – which is a common feature of the modern working environment 

In the office

With the advent of automation and technology we are spending on average six to eight hours a day in front of a computer, this can commonly lead to problems with our shoulders, arms, hands and neck, as well as issues with balance and coordination.

One study found that over 45% of office workers experience neck pain at some stage.12 Back problems are big contributors to lost productivity in the workplace.

Low back pain has become the leading cause of disability among people of working age, and its impact on industry is enormous. It’s been reported that after headaches and colds, back pain is the third most common reason for taking time off work.  Sitting for prolonged periods creates an enormous strain on our spinal helath which in turn leads to long term postural distortions, these in turn lead to many of the health problems.


 

Common Posture Problems

Forward Head Posture
Forward head posture is the most common postural defect found in computer operators.

Round Shoulders
Round Shoulders is distinguished by the hunched over appearance it creates, and is a poor posture that is often associated with office workers and computer operators.

Rotated Hips
Rotate hips can be caused by holding a poor position for a long period of time, such as sitting at your desk twisting to write as well as looking at the computer.

In severe cases, long term bad posture can lead to Scoliosis, a condition that results in the spine twisting from left to right, instead of running in a straight line from top to bottom. Depending on the severity, scoliosis of the spine can have a detrimental impact on vital organs, such as your heart, liver and kidneys.

Correcting Posture

The good news is that postural issues can be corrected, and even, in some instances reversed.  When in a working environment that requires a lot of desk and computer work, make sure your workstation equipment is ergonomically sound. Even better try and use a sit to stand workstation if they are available. If not at least take regular breaks – in fact you should take a 1 – 2 minute break every 30 minutes you spend sitting at a desk or workstation.

Chiropractors are trained to assess spinal health along with posture. Chiropractors may also offer guidance on some exercises that, when done regularly, will help to strengthen your supporting muscles and maintain great posture. Regular strengthening and stretching, regular chiropractic adjustments, adn reducing ones sedentary habits are all strong contributors to maintaining great posture