Spine day: prevent serious spine and musculoskeletal problems
Spine day: According to the most recent study conduct by the British Heart Foundation and by the group Get Britain Standing at 2000 English workers, the conclusion shows that 40% of the people take less that 30 minutes per day in standing position, in the regular working time, avoiding leave the secretary for lunch and even delay the trip to toilet.
In Portugal and almost everywhere, this reality is pretty common. If we consider the fact that the working schedule in Portugal is greater that the European average (41 hours/week versus 28 in EU), the results are much worse.
Several specialists recommend some ergonomic rules in the office to change our working environment and preserve our heath.
There are 9 simple changings that could help us prevent serious spine and musculoskeletal problems in the future | Spine day
In the desk or in the sofa, driving or using the public transportation, the scenery change but the action remains, being seated.
Did you ever ask yourself, how many hours do you spend seated per day?
The numbers are surprising, and the problems related that could appear since: Discomfort, numbness, pain, unbalanced spine, muscle contractures, joints lesions and bad blood circulation are just some of the consequences of being seated for long time. Our body is not prepared to be sedentary.
According to a research in Queensland University, Australia, for each hour that a person older then 25 remain seated, the average expectancy of life decreases 21 minutes.
The human body is prepared to be standing. When we are seating, the natural spine curve is altered, causing that several muscles make a bigger effort that they were not design to do it , maintain the trunk elevate and against the force of gravity.
9 simple gestures that can improve your quality of life and your spine health
- Do not cross your legs: Being seated with legs cross difficult the blood circulation and overload the muscles surrounding the pelvis.
- Attention to the mobile: If you spend many hours at the phone, do not support it in your neck or shoulders. Try to avoid the multi-tasking in phone calls and use a headphone in every call longer then 5 minutes.
- Head up: Try to maintain your head and neck align. The screen monitor should be at your eyes level, and the same for tablets or mobile phones. You should maintain a safe distance between 40 and 70 cm to your monitor, the keyboard and mouse should remain side by side.
- Feet on the ground: Put your knees at 90º degrees angle and maintain your feet on the ground spread at the shoulders distance to avoid tension in the joints.
- Chair Position: Beware that your back are well support in the chair. And try to avoid seating in the tip of the chair to prevent bad posture.
- Get up every hour: Get some breaks to reduce the pressure in the vertebral disks and promote circulation. Get up every 50-60 minutes to go to the toilet, or to drink some water, to answering to some calls, or simple to stretch your legs. Use the meetings to be standing or to walk for a while, choose stairs over elevator, park the car far away possible.
- Exercise yourself: Try to stretch along the day. Rotate your shoulders, neck, stretch your arms. Physical activity is crucial to balance some bad postural habits in the office. Try pilates, yoga or swimming to reinforce the muscles.
- Hydrate yourself: The water help to maintain the joints and muscles well lubricate and prevent stiffness in the neck, knees or joints. According to the studies, we need in average, per day, 1 litre for every 30 kg of weight. If we have intense exercise or due to weather we sweat a lot, we should compensate with a litre extra.
- Type of the chair: If you can choose your chair, choose one with the correct size for your body. The seat should be firm and deep enough to support our hips without forcing the posterior knee’s angle, should have support for the forearms and the anterior borders of the seat should be rounded.