Friday, May 6, 2011

STEP 4: Take Frequent Breaks From Sitting

The Desk Warriors Guide to Building a Healthy Back! 4/10

We learned from Step 1: Sit Less that most of us spend too much time seated and that sitting is associated with disc herniation and low back pain (LBP).(McGill, 2007) When we are required to sit for long durations, it is essential to practice all the best sitting techniques learned in the previous posts. Besides improved posture and lessened pain, we can reduce our risk of heart disease by sitting less. Sitting is an independent risk factor for heart disease. So forget popping your statins like your cardiologi$t told you, how about sitting less?

One of the best ways to sit less is to take frequent breaks from sitting. Regardless of how well you follow the previous posts instructions on how to sit better, you still should to take frequent breaks from sitting. This is usually an option, unless you drive for a profession. Try to stand up often, preferably every 15 minutes and atleast every 50 minutes. Remember how sitting delaminates the annular layers of the disc, pressing the nucleus of the disc backwards?

Annular delamination and posterior disc bulge

This is the mechanism causing bulging and herniated discs. To restore equilibrium in the disc simply stand up, push your hips forward and lean back into extension. Do this a few times or for an extended hold. This combats the chronic lumbar flexion we experience from sitting and helps to allow the discs nucleus to return to equilibrium. Also, extension alleviates the stress placed on the overstretched spinal ligaments, allowing them some time to return to a more normal length.

Next externally rotate your arms, by turning your palms outward and elevate your chest by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Retract your head and lift your chin. Now you've assumed proper posture. Assume this proper posture every time you rise from a chair. Let this become a habit and you will be a healthier, more attractive hominid. If you can spare the time, walk for a few minutes to avoid the monotony and degradatious effects that sitting places on the spine. If your boss has a problem, let em talk to me and I”ll set em' straight. Desk Warriors, don't be afraid to TAKE A STAND and sit less!

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