Sitting is the New Smoking
Are You Over-Sitting?
Think about how often you’re sitting each day. Could it be leading to back problems?
Lets take a look at why this could be. From a mechanical point of view, your body in the sitting position causes certain muscles to be shortened which over time leads to tight contracted muscles that do not function correctly. This is what is called lower crossed syndrome. This means that certain muscles are too tight and the opposite muscles that provide the counter balance are too weak and lengthened. For example sitting causes the hip flexor muscles to be tight and contracted and the gluteal muscles to be weak. This causes an imbalance in the tension across the low back causing pain and dysfunction. It’s accepted among experts that lower back pain is related to prolonged sitting. And in today’s world we never spend a lot of time sitting do we?
But Wait There’s More!
As I have mentioned in past articles the nervous system is very important. It is the master control system of the body. If you are doing things such as sitting too much, this is a stressor on the nervous system. Normally your nervous system should be able to adapt to stressors and continue to function normally. But if too many stressors overload it, it will not be able to control the different functions of the body and this includes the postural muscles that hold us up. As more and more stressors build up we have more and more dysfunction. Due to improper nerve signal, the postural muscles will not be able to function and keep us in proper posture, and the positions like sitting will start to cause the muscle imbalance such as lower crossed syndrome like I mentioned above. The reason stretching and strengthening is sometimes not enough to return the function to these muscles is due to the neurologic component. Stretching and strengthening will not return the proper signal to the muscles. The muscles need the signal to work in the first place. This is where chiropractic adjustments enter the picture to complete the corrective program, adjustments for the return of nervous system function, and stretching and strengthening to restore the proper muscle function.
Sitting is the New Smoking
In a study published last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine it was found that sitting was an increased factor in mortality rates. It was found that people who sat for less than 30 minutes at a time had the lowest risk of early death. I’m not suggesting you stop sitting altogether, however with this data it would be beneficial to take some simple steps to eliminate the stress of sitting on your nervous system.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Take interval breaks throughout your day
- Change your position as often as you sensibly can
- Get up and walk every 30 minutes
- Stretch your spine throughout the day
If you are experiencing pain you should get a chiropractic assessment because pain is an indicator there is already dysfunction in your nervous system. Even if you are not experiencing pain it does not mean you don’t have any problems. Chiropractic in Abingdon and Richlands is a great way to prevent dysfunction, pain and disease so you can be the best you can be!
Give us a call to set up your appointment today!
- Dr. Brian Douts
Member of the Month!!