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Impact of Long Term Sitting

The spine is probably the most important part of the human body because it’s the main highway for communication. Every single message sent from the brain informing the body how to move and function is sent down the vast bundle of nerves in the spine and then off to various areas of the body.

Many times, pain or issues in other parts of the body can be caused by a problem with the spine. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you do what you can to keep your back healthy, your posture good, and even see a chiropractor to ensure proper alignment and spinal condition.

We all know the many dangers everyday life can present for our fragile backs. We’re cautioned about everything from heavy lifting, strenuous physical activity, to even standing still for long periods of time.

But for many of us working in offices or at desks, we overlook how trying it can be on our bodies to even just be sitting down. When you spend a great majority of your day in a single chair, it can vastly affect the condition of your back.

Recent studies have shown that there is a specific seating position that will benefit your back and help reduce pain caused by bad posture. First of all, when seated, your feet should comfortably reach the floor.

This alleviates any strain on your back with having to hold the weight of your legs too much. Second, you should sit with your back completely against the back of the chair as it will help maintain good posture without excessive strain to hold the position.

Next, your hips should be at least level with your knees, if not higher. Sitting with your hips lower than your knees can cause you to curve your spine in uncomfortable ways. Additionally, your forearms should rest comfortably on the arms of the chair.

This will help to keep your upper body in line with your lower body and reduce the stress of having to hold your arms in any certain position.

Obviously, these guidelines are great but rarely are we simply sitting in a chair, stock still, and not doing anything. We’re often leaning over our desks doing paperwork or typing on a computer and we can’t follow all these guidelines every second of the day.

It’s just important to keep those things in mind and try to return the spine to a comfortable neutral position at every opportunity.  Also, it’s very important to make sure you have a comfortable chair that promotes this kind of healthy seated position. Many companies have made great efforts to design ergonomic chairs that do just that and are sold online or at retailers like Staples or Office Max.

But even beyond sitting in our desk chairs all day long, when we go out to movies, shows, or sports games, we’re sitting in seats whose comfort levels have a huge effect on our enjoyment of the event.

How many times have we sat at a ball game for a night unable to take our mind off the pain caused by the hard plastic chair or at a high school football game unable to get comfortable on the metal bleachers?

Or have you ever melted into a movie theater seat only to almost fall asleep because you were so comfortable? Many venues, from theaters and arenas to churches and lecture halls have begun to apply the concept of ergonomics to their seating in order to improve the experience of the public and, in a world where 8 out of 10 people have some sort of back pain, this could definitely help change our lives.

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