Sit. Sit. Sit. That's what we do. We all do it way too much. Even your Brooks chiropractor at Soft Health and Healing Clinic sits too much between patient visits. But our Brooks back pain and neck pain patients do a lot of sitting that's not very good for their ailing spines. Soft Health and Healing Clinic knows it's not practical to say "don't sit" to most of you, so let's talk about sitting and the chairs in which you sit.
First, sitting. A research study of over 63,000 middle aged Australian men who sat for more than 4 hours a day reports that they were much more likely to have chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure. (1) One's mental well-being may be negatively impacted by sitting too much. (2) Another study of nearly 6400 people between 40 and 75 years old who sit more have higher risk of experiencing chronic kidney disease. (3) Then, the anatomy we chiropractors embrace, the spine, is adversely affected by sitting as it weakens some back muscles and tightens other ones. It's not good! You need balance.
So how does one balance the requirement to sit with health and the spine? Take breaks. Put your laptop on top of a filing cabinet and type for a while. Stand while talking on the phone. Sit on a ball-chair while at the desk which forces non-used muscles in chair-sitting to work. Maybe even consider a new chair. Soft Health and Healing Clinic will help you think through these possibilities and make optimal choices to keep you working, your body going, and back pain at bay.
Now, the chair. The “best” chair for sitting debate continues. Soft Health and Healing Clinic hears the chair horror stories. Expensive ones. Cheap ones. Ones made out of stability balls. Custom-made ones. A new article is suggesting that a standing reference spinal posture be collected for normalizing seated spine kinematics while sitting. (4) Interesting! It seems that some Brooks workers are not happy in any position for long periods of sitting. Why? The curve of the spine and the way the chair supports that curve makes a difference. Lordosis is the inward curve of the lower spine and is happy with support…until it’s not happy with support. Soft Health and Healing Clinic notes that one article reports that sitting in a chair with a lordotic lumbar posture and forward leaning pelvis is the main reason for low back discomfort. (5) So what does your Brooks chiropractor recommend? Get up and move a bit periodically. If you have a removable back support, take it out for 15 to 30 minutes and put it in for 15 to 30 minutes. If you have a built-in lordotic support (like in a car seat), periodically inflate it then deflate it. This promotes motion in the spine.
So what's the bottomline for sitting and chairs? Don’t sit … for too long. Support the spinal curve … periodically. Pay attention to what works for your spine. How’s that? Make a Brooks chiropractic appointment so we can discuss your sitting and your chair habits that may contribute to your back pain and its potential relief! Contact Soft Health and Healing Clinic today.