More than 70% of people spend a minimum of six hours sitting per day according to a study from the National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys. This time may be spent watching television, playing video games, commuting or at work responding to emails.
Prolonged sitting and associated health risks
Prolonged sitting is a societally encouraged health risk however and should be managed. In 2015, a report from the Annals of Internal Medicine linked prolonged sitting to a greater risk of death from a variety of causes. Those who exercise regularly weren’t exempt.
The sedentary lifestyle seems to be a goal in many cultures and a job that necessitates sitting is desired. The lifestyle so many wish for has unfortunately been shown to raise risk for cardiovascular disease, specific cancers (colon, colorectal, epithelial ovarian, endometrial and breast), and type 2 diabetes.
Of course, those that do exercise are at less risk, but still at risk of the same diseases and conditions are their more sedentary peers. According to a 2015 Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology study adding two minutes of movement per every hours of sitting can lower the risk of death causing conditions by a third. So, do keep active.
Causes of the conditions, aches, and pains
The reason many conditions related to prolonged sitting are the added stress on the spine and muscles. This sets off a chain of events that end in tightness of muscles and restricted blood flow of the muscles in the buttocks. Those muscles support the spine and the problems begin to spiral.
As the muscles in your buttocks tire and the pressure on the discs in your back increases, your posture will begin to slide. This slouching can cause the ligaments in the spine to stretch beyond what would be deemed healthy and put further strain on the disc. This increased strain and pressure is a cause of disc bulging in many.
The positioning of the desk chairs and mindfulness of the individual in it also come into play. This head forward, rounded shoulders posture that many assume automatically is considered bad posture. A conscious effort should be made to avoid it. Having a better chair can help.
Much of the pressure and pain can be alleviated through practice of proper posture and an ergonomic chair. A combination of these two are an absolutely must for a health conscious office worker. If you don’t have the option of choosing your chair, controlling your posture is still entirely under your control.
How to mitigate back issues
Making sure to maintain proper spine alignment has many bonuses to overall health. Proper posture will keep bones and joints in alignment, ensuring muscles are being used as they should be. Correct alignment also decrease undue wearing of joint surfaces making for a healthier skeleton. The decreased stress on joints will ultimately result in prevention of aches and pains while mitigating risk of the above.
If you are able to pick your chair, you’re in luck. With a little setup, you’ll be able able to mitigate a lot of potential aches and pain. The first step to setting up your chair is to adjust it to the appropriate height of your workstation. The appropriate height is determined by what your tasks are, what type of work it is, and your height.
Another important factor to keep in consideration when setting up your chair is resting eye level. Preferably, you want to be looking straight ahead as you work. That posture is closest to your natural spinal alignment. There are more in-depth guides to workstation char setup online.
If you’re looking for an office chair or reviews on multiple officer chairs, stop by Office Chairs Only. Make sure to be picky in your selection. It’s important and as you now know, your overall health rides on the health of your back.
Remember to take care of yourself and your spine
Even with the best and most comfortable chair, the fact remains that being sedentary isn’t healthy. Prolonged static posture is little more than a cause of pains and strains. To avoid these problems, remember to get up, stretch or take a brief walk for at least two minutes every half hour. Any movement will help.
Longer time spent moving will always be better. A long will will aid in promoting blood flow and important nutrients to your likely stiff back. The mental break from emails and spread sheets is likely also welcome. Generally speaking, take breaks when possible, your doctor might not thank you, but your back will.
You’ve got options
For those entirely done with officer chairs there are alternatives. Some prefer to use a Swedish kneeling chair or exercise ball. The reason behind this is that those two options require constant muscle engagement.