Archive for the ‘Ergonomics’ Category

Sitting Leads To More Than Just Back Pain

Monday, July 11th, 2011

No, not baby sitting.  I am talking about the sedentary kind when the gluteal muscles are at rest.

Your body is designed to move. Unfortunately, we spend far less time moving than we do sitting at a desk, in a car, on the couch, at the dinner table, etc.

Chronic Sitting Syndrome (CSS)

I just created a new disease name :).  In all seriousness, let’s take a look at some statistics on the impact of sitting and our modern lifestyles:

  • We are now averaging 9.3 hours sitting down per day.
  • Sitting increases our risk of death up to 40%.
  • Sitting makes us fat.
  • Sitting increases the risk for back pain.
  • Sitting increases the risk for neck pain.
  • Sitting increases the risk for shoulder problems.
  • Obese people sit for 2.5 more hours per day than thin people.
  • People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs.
  • Those who sit 3+ hours per day on the couch watching TV are 64% more likely to die from heart disease.
  • The recommended 30 minutes per day of physical activity is not enough to counteract 8 hours of sitting each day at our jobs. You must interrupt sittinng

If we sit for 9 plus hours and sleep for 6-8, that only leaves about 8 hours when we actually use our legs and feet.  Remember the old adage, “Use it or Lose it”?  Seems that many of us don’t.  Lack of activity causes your muscles to shrink and become tighter, causes bone loss, changes your hormone levels, and a lot of other very health deteriorating effects. When you think about it, it is like we are actually training to be fat and sick.

Check out the following stats and information on sitting:

What Can You Do to Offset So Much Keister Time?

First of all, get up and walk frequently.  If you work a desk job, set up a pop up reminder on your computer to take a break and go for a short walk.  Do this frequently through out the day (at least hourly).  Use stairs instead of elevators. Take periodic stretch breaks, do jumping jacks, walk to the break room or water cooler frequently.  Put a balance discs in your chair.  People have a tendency to get sucked into their work.  There are computer programs that can lock you out at set intervals.  I recommend implementing this strategy, or you will end up sitting all day despite good intentions not to.

Get with your co-workers and bosses.  Odds are they have the same problem.  Back pain is the second most common reason people visit a doctor. If you can establish a group mentality on this issue, you will not be ridiculed, looked at weird, or made fun of.  Remember the triangle of health? The physical side of the triangle plays a huge role in whether or not one remains healthy.  Too much sitting will disrupt the entire triangle and make achieving good health impossible.

Need stretching ideas?  Check out our stretching and exercise video section…

Wishing you excellent health,

Dr. Osborne

Dr. Osborne is an expert in functional medicine and chiropractic  care.  He is Board Certified in Nutritional Medicine.  You can contact  his office at 281-240-2229.  He regularly  treats patients from across  the world.  His office is in Sugar Land, Texas in the  Greater Houston  area.