Is Sitting the New Smoking?
The sad reality is that most of us spend the majority of our day sitting down. Whether you are sitting in traffic, working at a computer at the office, watching TV, or playing on your smartphone, lives are more sedentary than ever. The enormous amount of sitting negatively impacts our health — especially our backs! In fact, sitting as often as we do these days has been compared to being as detrimental to our health as smoking! Read on for more information regarding the dangers of living a sedentary lifestyle.
Is Sitting the New Smoking? Adverse Health Effects of a Sedentary Lifestyle
Increased risk of obesity
Exercise and a healthy diet are two huge components of maintaining a healthy weight — this is not new news. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, a third factor is important for weight control — moving throughout the day!
The Mayo Clinic conducted a study on weight gain and loss where participants diets and exercise were controlled in the lab. Researchers added 1,000 calories to all of the participants daily diets. None were allowed to exercise, however some participants were able to maintain their weight! How? They unintentionally got up and moved more throughout each day.
Higher risk of depression
Research shows that because sitting reduces circulation in the body, it is more challenging for the body’s “feel good” hormones to make their way to the proper receptors. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine published a study of 9,000 middle-aged women. The study found that those who sat longer and did not meet minimum exercise requirements suffered from depression at significantly higher rates than the women who sat less and exercised more. Those who sat for 7 hours a day were 47 percent more likely to suffer from depression than those who sat 4 hours or less each day.
At Pure Chiropractic, Drs. Chris and Krystal Hohn want to help their patients protect and maintain the health of their spines around the clock. Read on for some simple tips to help reduce back pain at the office.
Tips For Reducing Back Pain At the Office
Setting up your desk
Your desk is where the bulk of your time is likely spent at work. Take proactive steps in ensuring your workspace is ideal for protecting your back. In an ideal world, each person would have a standup desk, or utilize a desktop converter that lets you convert your desk into a standup desk.
Otherwise, focus on having a chair with excellent lower back support. Adjust your chair so that you can look straight ahead at your screen, and have your legs at a 90 degree angle.
Adjusting keyboard height
When you are at your work station, set up your keyboard so that when your elbows are bent 90 degrees, you do not have to slouch over to reach the keys. If you need to utilize a keyboard tray to adjust the height, it’s a worthy investment for your spinal health! Place your mouse at the same level as your keyboard.
Looking straight at your screen
You want to set up your laptop or desktop screen so that you look straight ahead when working. By ensuring you work without straining your neck up or down, you will protect your spine and reduce back pain. Also do your best to make sure your computer monitor is straight in front of you, not off to the side, while you are working.
Sit with proper support
The ideal sitting position allows you to have your feet flat on the floor and your legs at a 90 degree angle. This allows your body to evenly distribute your weight, reducing stress on the spine and decreasing chances of back pain.
Take frequent breaks
It is recommend to get up and walk around every 30 minutes in order to give your eyes and your spine a break. Take a lap around the office, get up and use the restroom, head to the break room for another cup of coffee. These short, frequent breaks will help keep your blood flowing and your spine in shape!
Did you know that regular exercise such as walking, swimming, bike riding, or strength training can help prevent back pain? These exercises (and many others) help the body stay aerobically conditioned. Strength training also helps prevent back pain by strengthening the muscles that help support the spine.
Find a type of exercise that you love and stick with it. Your body will thank you!
Wear supportive footwear
While high heels are standard attire at most corporate jobs, they are terrible for your back! Avoid wearing high heels on a regular basis. They impact the body’s center of gravity, making the body overcompensate in certain areas. This can wreak havoc on your posture and back support.
Instead of high heels, opt for supportive footwear. We promise, fashionable, supportive footwear does exist!
Focus on good posture
Simple movements at the office can take a serious toll on your posture. Walking, talking on the phone, sitting down, lifting items, typing, and hundreds of other every day tasks impact our spine. It is important to try and maintain good posture when performing even these basic tasks. This will help reduce stress on your spine, and ultimately help keep you and your back healthy and pain free!
Pure Chiropractic Can Help
If you are experiencing back pain from a sedentary lifestyle, or for any reason at all, Pure Chiropractic can help. Located in Howell, Michigan, Drs. Chris and Krystal Hohn are passionate about the powers of chiropractic healing and all that it offers.
Contact Pure Chiropractic today at (517) 579-2537!