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‘Electronic Society Means Sitting Disease - Increased Sedentary Work - Bad for the Back’

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Back Care Awareness Week (5th - 11th October) - ‘Back pain is a product of a person’s environment, workstation and sitting habits. Poor posture increases fatigue, will cause discomfort and eventually injury.’

Because we are becoming a more electronic society, for example increased hours working on laptops as well as sedentary jobs sitting in front of a computer at a desk, posture related problems are rapidly increasing. Good posture at a workstation means that chair, desk and computer should all be set-up to meet an individual’s personal requirements - this is crucial because good seated posture reduces back and neck strain.

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time, incorrectly, places too much strain on the ligaments of the spine and the discs between the vertebrae. In addition an excessively rounded back can become weakened and also result in intervertebral discs bulging thus placing pressure on the nerves of the spine which can cause radiating pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs. It is essential to take regular breaks from a desk as walking around helps the body to reset itself into healthy posture.

Incorrect posture means muscles, tendons and ligaments cannot work as they are meant to and will have a detrimental effect on digestion and breathing. It is important to train the body to stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities.

Consider the following:

  • Positive body language means correct posture - regular exercise vital

  • Firm bed mattress - avoid sleeping in a side position, will eventually cause neck pain

  • Pillow should be under your head but not shoulders

  • Being overweight puts increased pressure on the spine

  • Always bend your knees and hips, not your back when lifting heavy objects

  • Smoking reduces the blood supply to the discs between the vertebrae (disc degeneration)

  • 31 million days of work were lost last year due to back pain (Office for National Statistics)

  • Back pain has been the primary cause of absenteeism for the past five years

  • The UK has one of the highest rates of people suffering with back pain in Europe

 



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