As the workforce has shifted from factories to offices, the incidence of back pain has increased dramatically. Researchers blame this increase on one simple activity that we do all the time – sitting.
Our bodies were not designed to sit for long periods of time. We were made to move. Almost everyone who sits for long periods of time will develop back pain, even with the use of an ergonomic chair. It’s not uncommon to develop other problems as well. Surveys of office workers indicate that about half of all employees have frequent pain or stiffness in their necks and shoulders. Repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome are becoming more common and about 10% of keyboard users experience wrist pain or discomfort. Who would have thought that sitting could wreak such havoc on your body?
Your body needs movement to operate effectively. If you have a sedentary lifestyle or sit for most of the day, your body is going to start complaining. You have to move.
When your muscles contract, you assist the flow of blood and lymph fluid through your body. The muscles act as a pump. If they don’t contract regularly the blood in your extremities pools and you may get swelling of your feet and hands or those parts may just feel cold because the blood circulation is insufficient.
When you sit for long periods of time certain postural muscles, like your shoulder muscles, become overworked. These will tend to become short and tight from overuse whereas other muscles like your gluteals, abdominal and mid-back muscles, will become weak and atrophy.
Part 2 coming soon!
See you on the table!