We sit for breakfast, we sit during the commute, and we sit at our desks
for 4-5 hours in the morning. Then we sit for lunch, sit the remaining
4 hours, sit for the commute home, sit for dinner, sit for television
and then lie down to sleep, only to wake up and do it all over again.
Our flexion based (rounded forward through the spine) lifestyle is killing us.
Our spines are curling in on themselves and we are in pain. So what to
do to break up this pattern when we do have to go to work day in and day out?
Here are some suggestions on how to get more activity into your workday:
First of all, break up with your office chair. Configure your desktop so
you can choose to stand most of the time and sit occasionally. If you
cannot purchase standing desk furniture, place your laptop or monitor
and keyboard on platforms, sturdy boxes or shelving pieces. When there’s
a will there’s a way!
When we sit for extended periods of time we place more pressure on the
front aspect of the lumbar spine. Many of the supporting muscles are in
kept in a compressed or shortened position and the opposing muscles are
held in an overstretched, weakened position.
Sitting slumped in a chair using a mouse for hours causes weakening of
the paraspinals in the mid-back area. The muscles lose their ability to
hold upright posture and tire easily. Knots develop and create that mid-back
pain across the shoulder blades or into the neck. Nerve damage and low
grade constant pain is the result.
So what to do? Stand up often. Set an alarm that gets you up and moving
around every 20 minutes or so. Walk around to increase blood circulation
and stretch out tight muscles. Exercise daily to stay strong. Strengthen
the weak muscles and stretch tight muscles. Seek out qualified exercise
professionals or physical therapists if painful symptoms continue. Move
gently, but move everyday throughout the day.