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The Dangers of Prolonged Sitting

A lot of people think that they could not acquire any injury from too much sitting. The truth is that you do not need to have a blunt physical trauma in order to get an injury. Yes, injuries may occur from mere sitting! These types of injuries are often referred to as postural strain disorders where there is cumulative and repetitive trauma to any tissue in the body. It is hard to accept the sad reality that many people spend most of their days sitting. The average day may consist of sitting at the desk, in front of a computer monitor, sitting during driving from and to work, sitting in front of a television, and sitting during mealtime. Well, that is quite a lot. Most of the culprits are office workers, students, and individuals who make a living through driving.

What’s wrong with too much sitting?

When you sit for a long period of time, you may have a tendency to slouch forward or you may worsen your bad posture if you already have one. The problem with these sustained postures is that you may constantly end up loading similar tissues in the same ways. Over a long time, this will lead to a condition also referred to as creep. This phenomenon is the same mechanism which dentists make use of braces in order to repair your crooked teeth. These braces will give a constant force to the teeth that over time, tissues that surround the teeth will deform and allow the teeth to move into a much better alignment. In the same way, in the neck and back, prolonged posture may give way to several changes in structure which will affect the position and alignment of the joints, and cause postural strain and sprain to the ligaments and muscles. Some of the most common complaints are shoulder and neck pain, lower and upper back pain, and even headaches. If nothing is going to be done with these problems, they may become chronic. Therefore, an individual is more likely to acquire an injury from prolonged sitting.

What are some of the solutions?

  • Keep moving

Do not sit for long periods – maximum would be 30-40 minutes straight. Go for a walk, get up, and stretch. Spinal extension and range of motion exercises are advisable. Keep in mind that you have to change your position always and take mini breaks because this will aid in distributing the forces which are acting on our bodies. Aside from that, fidgeting might also be good for you. Aside from burning calories, it redistributes your energy.

  • Drink Water

Aside from hydrating the entire body and getting rid of toxins, drinking enough fluids will force you to get out of your chair and go to the comfort room.

  • Do not slouch

This unfortunate tendency is often common for desk workers. The head will move forward, the shoulders and the upper part of the back will curl forward and the natural curve of the lower back will be decreased. If practiced for long periods of time, this will give way to upper crossed syndrome.

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