Avenue Clinic

Avenue Clinic

Poor Posture or Lack of Movement?

One of the most common things that I discuss with my patients, is the office desk. In Guernsey, the desk is a key aspect for the majority of the employed. People are aware that being at a desk for a significant period of time is one of the leading contributors of their pain, however few people are open to change for a variety of reasons (some out of their control).

For years we’ve known that we are not all the same. We move differently, we experience pain differently, we even sit differently, Therefore maybe there isn’t a set structure to set up our desk in an ‘ideal’ fashion.

Ergonomic set-ups have proven to allow us to be more comfortable when we are at our desk, so i’m not stating they do not have merit. I’m merely suggesting that if we are all so different in the sensations we experience, why are we sat with relatively similar set-ups based on a regimented method?

Some may be aware that research has been suggesting there is no such thing as an ideal posture. If this is the case, then it’s not a surprise to hear that it may not be how we sit at our desks, but the fact we sit at them for prolonged periods.

Think of it like this;
When we sit down a number of things start to happen to our bodies. I’ve listed a few here;
– Reduced circulation
– Reduced digestion due to compression on the organs
– Extended sitting reduces bone density and muscle mass
– Neck, shoulder, hip and back pain

There. I said it. When we sit down for prolonged periods, we experience pain.

The key word appears to be ‘prolonged’. I say on a daily basis that the human body is designed to move. So if we do anything for too long, this will have a negative effect.
For example, If you shift your body weight to one leg, it probably doesn’t hurt. Now do that for 20 minutes. After a period of time it will begin to ache. This is because the muscles will start to fatigue and the ligaments will become the predominant reason for maintaining this position. Once the ligaments are on stretch, they begin to alter and change what they think is normal. Then when you move out of this position, its stiff and uncomfortable. This is what happens to the muscles, ligaments and joints in your spine and pelvis when we sit for long stints.

Most modern offices have everything within arms reach; our own printer, scanner, phone and computer. This is adding to the problem. I urge everybody I see who works at a desk, to get up every half hour / hour and MOVE. It doesn’t need to be an extravagant set of lunges or deadlifting Mary’s printer. Grab a water or nip to the toilet. Nothing too crazy.

So my conclusion is this; perhaps it’s not the sitting that is the ultimate cause of our pain, but the lack of movement away from a sustained position.

If you have any questions the please get in contact with me.

Dan Bihet
Registered Osteopath
MSc Ost., BSc (Hons) ST

 


References

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161475406000261

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Scott_Rollo/publication/321276117_Do_You_Want_Your_Students_to_Pay_More_Attention_in_Class_Try_Dynamic_Seating/links/5a1849ac4585155c26a94ceb/Do-You-Want-Your-Students-to-Pay-More-Attention-in-Class-Try-Dynamic-Seating.pdf

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"The Osteopaths use a broad range of techniques that I had not experienced with other practitioners and after a few sessions the pain was gone and I had more movement in my neck than I had in years"

Mrs G (for Osteopathy )

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Poor Posture or Lack of Movement?

One of the most common things that I discuss with my patients, is the office desk. In Guernsey, the desk is a key aspect for the majority of the employed. People are aware that being at a desk for a significant period of time is one of the leading contributors of their pain, however few […]

Read More
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