Sitting posture has been the one of the most highlighted cause for health issues but what exactly does it encompass? Especially given the current COVID-19 situation where countries are either on lockdown or are on similar directives (i.e. circuit breaker), working from home is now the new norm. However, home might not exactly be built as the best place to be working for extended hours. With that in mind, to fully understand the human body, we would first need to understand the basis of what our body was originally build for.
This Is an Important Topic to Talk About
In this day and age, working hours have only gotten longer over history and with that, the nature of most jobs as well. From the most primitive of times, the human body was made to run, hunt and actively search for resources all in the name of survival and self-preservation. Unfortunately, the human body has not evolved to adept to the needs of our current working environment where most jobs get replaced by either computers or automated machineries, and thus the only job left for us are either desk-bound or minimally physically active. The switch from what used to be an active routine now has left the majority of us sedentary. Hence it is strongly advised – for the sake of our health, to learn how to adapt to the sedentary work-life. Fundamentally, it is pertinent to at the very least, ensure that we are correctly positioning ourselves if we were to remain stationary for extended hours.
Debunking Common Issues
One of the most common issues people face today, is back pain due to sitting for extended periods. As siting causes the spine to be compressed 30% more as opposed to standing, such detriments can cause a myriad of problems from a muscle related lower back pain, which can be easily treated, to the likes of degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, a slipped disc or sciatica, which in some cases, require surgery.
The other most common issue with sedentary working lifestyles reported is Carpal tunnel syndrome, otherwise known as median nerve compression. It is usually brought about by (but not limited to) repetitive actions such as frequent and similar action over extended period of time (i.e. usage of mouse, holding of mobile devices, assembly line of work.) The risk is also higher for females as they have smaller carpal tunnels.
Apart from that, any existing or freshly recovered wrist fracture or dislocation has added vulnerability towards it. Carpal tunnel syndrome usually starts off with a numbing sensation most noticeable during the night due to the nature of how our body holds itself during sleep, of which, the numbing could simply be relieved by shaking it off during early stages. However, as it progresses, there would be a noticeable dip in gripping strength and painful cramps. One usually also experiences a lost of sensation and the weakening of co-ordination.
Not All Hope Is Lost
Fortunately, there are a couple of things we could do to minimise the said risks. Firstly, an option would be to consult a physiotherapist for an Ergonomic Assessment. This would ensure that you get the very fundamental, yet essential root of the issue covered as a preventative measure. In light of the current lockdown, this service is also made available through our online consultations at PhysioActive.
Secondly, if one is already experiencing any stage of affliction derivative from the sedentary lifestyle, proper therapy could be administered to prevent the progression of any injuries. As mentioned earlier, injuries that progress to the stage where surgeries are required are found to have their quality of life largely affected. As such, it is pertinent to catch the symptoms early for the best of prognosis!
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