Sitting for long hours without frequent breaks may take a toll on health
–By Dr. Gerd Mueller, MD, Chairman & Managing Director, AktivOrtho™
In today’s hectic world, many hours are spent at offices. On an average, a person sits more than 8 hours per day while doing his job at his office. Many of us do not take required number of frequent eye or leg breaks and eventually develop body ailments, most common of them are back and neck pain. Lack of proper knowledge and guidance coupled with a careless attitude towards health are the main culprits.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF SITTING FOR LONG HOURS
Not only during office hours but even at home, we tend to pass the rest of our day’s hours mostly as sitting; watching TV, eating, surfing the net, commuting at sit-position and so on. This sitting habit contributes to a number of medical conditions like back pain, neck pain headache and other conditions. The way we are working on a computer, we underuse many of our muscles, while other muscles get tense and shorten. Very often we develop a so-called muscular imbalance, with a shortening of the breast muscles and a weakness of the upper back and shoulder blade muscles. What we should do?
If you spend a significant amount of time sitting at your desk for work or other reasons, it is essential to If you are sitting at a desk for large portion of the workday, it’s important to give your body a break by standing up. When you do, you will work different muscles and get your blood moving up.
PROPER SITTING STYLES:
When you are sitting, make sure you move around a lot and change positions, it is called ‘dynamic sitting’. This way you start to use different muscles. Recharge your body through frequent breaks
Frequent breaks are important to maintain good health. Despite having medically-correct furniture and other things, you still need these breaks. Instead of asking a helper to fetch for you a file or something, you should yourself go for it. If you can talk to someone while standing, do it. Just a few minutes of frequent stroll during office hours are enough to keep you healthy and recharged. So be active!
Make sure that your keyboard and mouse are placed at the same height as your elbow. However, the workplace corrections are often overrated regarding their effect on the symptoms. More recent studies show that a much more effective way in dealing with the symptoms lies in a proper exercise, both with short active breaks and stretches at the workplace and a good workout in your leisure time.
Exercise as counter-weight against sitting
- Workout is essential to counter the negative effects of sitting at desk for long hours at your office. The exercise regime is different for different people. Not only does it differ according to the age and gender, but also the weight and the height of a person. Exercising is a better way to lose body fat, as it increases your metabolism. Physical stamina is increased to a great extent, which helps keep you fresh throughout your hectic schedule for the whole day. Good workout can also act as a stress-buster. Exercising is one of the best ways to deal with the pain and stiffness in your neck or back
BACK & NECK EXERCISE MUST FOR OFFICE-GOERS
Neck stretching exercises can loosen the stiffness of the muscle and expand the range of motion and in neck. Neck and upper back strengthening exercises can help a person in maintaining proper neck position which may stop recurrent pain caused by long sitting hours.
There are a number of exercises to strengthen back muscles but it is advisable to consult a physiotherapist/doctor before starting any exercise, especially when symptoms had been there for a long time.