Sitting is the New Smoking
Sitting at a desk all day is hard work but somebody’s gotta do it, and in fact, millions of people do. Ok maybe sitting isn’t hard work in the traditional sense, but it can take a toll on your body all the same. As millions of American jobs move from outside to inside in front of a computer, we are now facing workplace injuries that slowly occur over time.
The most common workplace injury for office workers is low back pain. This has been cited as the most common reason to visit your doctor, next to colds and flu. In our Chiropractic office in Brick, NJ, lower back pain is one of the most common reasons a patient sites for their visit.
Let’s get to the bottom of this.
WHY DOES SITTING CAUSE LOW BACK PAIN?
Sitting doesn’t seem like a difficult thing to do, but when done for prolonged periods of time, it can place a significant amount of pressure on the joints and discs of the spinal column. Prolonged sitting usually leads to poor posture as well. As the body fatigues, it begins to slouch to one side, or lean forward.
Leaning forward puts a lot of strain on the spine and increases wear and tear on spinal joints and discs. Over time, this wear and tear will lead to weakness in the area, which will inevitably cause injury.
Pressure and and poor posture aren’t the only threat, poor blood flow contributes to pain and injury as well. Sitting in a fixed position restricts blood flow to the discs between the spinal joints. The spine becomes deprived of nourishment due to poor blood flow, as a result, accelerating degeneration and increasing the likelihood of low back pain and injury.
HOW TO REDUCE OR PREVENT LOW BACK PAIN
Movement is always going to be the best way to keep your spine and lower back healthy. But in the modern world, a lot of us are going to be spending time sitting in front of a computer. Here are some ways to reduce, or even prevent lower back pain.
- Instead of sitting in your chair all day, try to take short breaks every 20 minutes to stretch. If you need a reminder, you could set a recurring reminder on your phone, or there are apps you can download that can notify you.
- If you must sit for long periods of time, try to adjust your position every couple of minutes to reduce strain on one area of the body. Also, try to concentrate on maintaining good posture.
- Invest in a standing desk. These have become popular over the past couple of years. A standing desk raises to a level that allows you to stand and work comfortably. By doing this, you can bring relief to the back, butt, and legs.
- In addition to a standing desk, invest in an ergonomic chair that follows the natural curvature of your spine for proper support of the lower back. If you can’t get a chair with this feature, not to worry, you can simply place a small pillow behind your lower back.
- The height of your chair should be low enough to rest your feet flat on the ground, while being high enough to face your monitor straight on.
- Don’t sit on your wallet! This is a big one. If your sitting on a wallet all day, your spine can easily fall out of alignment. Switch to a thinner wallet and try to keep it in your front pocket.
HOW CAN A CHIROPRACTOR HELP?
If you’ve been suffering from back pain due to immobility, your local chiropractor may be the best place to seek relief. An experienced chiropractor specializes in spinal health and can diagnose and treat your back pain with proven methods.
Your Chiropractor will recommend spinal manipulation for treating the lower back. By manually adjusting the lumbar spine, they are able to decrease the pain, and increase range of motion and restore mobility.
In addition to treating you, your local chiropractor is going to offer suggestions on how to avoid back pain all together. He or she would suggest practicing proper spinal posture and the importance of strengthening your core muscles to lower your risk of injury.
CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH PROLONGED SITTING
- Low energy expenditure
- Slower metabolism
- Compromised posture
- Back and spine injuries
- Metabolic syndrome
- chronic pain
- Rheumatic disorders
- Higher risk of heart disease
SO IS SITTING REALLY THE NEW SMOKING
Well, that may be a little over the top, but the truth is, sitting can really become hazardous to your health over time. More and more we are becoming more sedentary, even from a young age. Children go from playing video games on their phones and computers, to spending their time as adults on phones and computers.
Sitting may not be as harmful as smoking, but it sure is worth discussing. unfortunately, we live in a world that requires a lot of us to sit for long periods of time. So if you’re one of these individuals, and you’re suffering from aches and pains, rest assured, your chiropractor can help ease your pain.