How much time in a day do you spend sitting? For many people, work hours are equivalent to the length of time they are pinned to a chair. It’s easy to dismiss this as a part of the average working-class adult’s daily routine, but 9 to 5 desk jobs have raised concerns over extended sitting on spine health and safety.
Several pieces of research have linked a desk-bound routine to various risks. A sedentary lifestyle has been found to increase the chances of a person becoming obese, developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease, and experiencing depression and anxiety.
Here’s what you need to know about the impact of extended sitting.
When Is Sitting Considered a Hazard?
A sedentary lifestyle, characterized by physical inactivity, extended hours of lying or sitting and constantly being in the worst sitting posture, contributes to millions of preventable deaths annually. It is the fourth leading cause of death due to non-communicable diseases.
According to GetCanadaStanding.org, there are only 15% of moderate physical activities incorporated into the workplace. Computers and more automated processes are among the biggest contributors to the sedentary lifestyle.
It was also found that even those who are hitting their physical goals but maintain are seated for over 8 hours a day cannot undo prolonged sitting effects. The Government of Canada’s Labour Program understands that prolonged sitting can result in back pain. The worst sitting positions can cause an imbalance and tension in the back and neck.
How Does Sitting Hurt Your Back and Neck?
Even with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), those in charge of overseeing workplaces, there are no laws imposed to counter the effects of extended sitting for spine health and fitness. By far, the last update to federal regulations was in 2007 when the CCOHS called for offices to incorporate ergonomic-related hazards in the development of MSDs in their Hazard Prevention Program.
Back pain is one of the work-related injuries caused by sitting for a long time. It happens because of repetitive motion, staying in one position for too long, and poor body mechanics. Using fixtures that encourage chiropractic sitting ergonomics in a Kitchener office, like standing work desks, is a concept introduced only recently. However, experts have also warned against standing for too long while doing computer work.
If you are not in the proper sitting position, the neck is at risk of injury. Neck pain is observed mostly in individuals working an office job. This can be attributed to slouching throughout the day while accomplishing tasks. It is uncomfortable and can even contribute to even worse posture.
How Can I Minimize Sitting Health Risks?
Sitting takes the burden of a person’s weight off the lower limbs. It can also help the spine and back relax. However, when done excessively and when the body gets used to the wrong posture, it can lead to different health concerns. So you may ask, “How do I sit properly without risking my body’s wellness?”. Here are some tips:
Improve Your Workstation
You need to improve your work setup. In most cases, cubicles have computers and chairs that help you perform your tasks. However, not everyone realizes that the way most workstations are designed causes stress injuries like back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
A healthy workstation encourages ergonomic seating and placement of the keyboard, mouse, computer monitor, telephone, feet, and lighting. Here are some questions to help you evaluate your desk’s contribution to your back and neck injuries:
- Do you feel uncomfortable in your chair and need to adjust it often?
- Do you have a habit of cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder?
- Do you strain your neck to get the best view of your computer monitor?
- Do you have ample wiggle room for your feet to facilitate a long-sitting position exercise in your Kitchener office?
- Do you have to extend your arm to use the mouse?
If these are among your daily challenges, the chances of developing spinal issues are likely. It is recommended that you get at least 1 to 2 minutes of activity in between periods of sitting.
Outside of work, it is recommended to get moving more often. Little physical activities help extend the spine and encourage correct posture. You don’t have to be a gym rat to get moving. For example, instead of spending your day off having a movie marathon or sleeping in, you can spend more time with your kids at the park, go on a hike or short walk, swim for an hour, or clean the house. There are countless activities that you can do that don’t involve staying on the couch or in front of your work desk.
Seek Help for Back Pain
Finding a trusted chiropractor for back pain in Kitchener to ease the symptoms can significantly improve your condition. Chiropractors offer care for patients with neuromusculoskeletal concerns, particularly in the neck and back. They take charge of spinal adjustments to help maintain good alignment with basic chiropractic techniques.
A chiropractic clinic in Kitchener can also offer massage therapy. This involves the manipulation of the soft tissues and joints to give the following benefits:
- Tension and pain relief
- Enhanced sleep quality
- Improved joint mobility and flexibility
- Injury and strain recovery
- Decreased stress and anxiety
Prolonged sitting can lead to different health concerns. While there is no set time for it to be considered “too much” experts encourage individuals whose lifestyle involves being glued to a chair for more than half a day to find time in-between to get up and stretch. If you are like most who complain about a painful back and neck, find the time to consult with chiropractors at Fairway Chiropractic Centre. Call 519-748-5535 to book an appointment now.