Did you know prolonged sitting can have a profoundly negative effect on your body? If you’re stuck at a desk all day and spend lots of time sitting when you’re not at work, you’re a prime candidate for several health issues. These include neck pain, low back pain, limited mobility, and poor posture. Excessive sitting is also associated with an increased risk of several serious health concerns, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
At Bomberg Chiropractic, our goal is to provide holistic treatment that supports whole-body well-being, whether you’re dealing with an acute issue, chronic pain, or simply want to maintain good health long term. If you feel like your sedentary job has taken a toll on your health or worry that it might, we’re here to help.
If your daily life involves considerable time spent sitting, read on to learn about the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle and the measures you can take to keep yourself as healthy as possible.
Health Risks Associated With Excessive Sitting
Sitting all day at work might not seem like a potentially perilous activity, but it can be more dangerous for your health than you might realize. And that’s especially true if you tend to flop on the couch after a long day’s work rather than lacing up your sneakers and hitting the road for a walk.
According to researchers, people who sit for more than eight hours daily and don’t engage in physical activity are at a similar risk of dying as those who smoke and are obese. And even people who exercise daily have a higher all-cause mortality risk when they spend several consecutive hours sitting each day.
Some of the many health risks associated with too much sitting include:
● Muscle atrophy and weakness, which occurs when your muscle fibers shrink in size due to inactivity
● Shortened hip flexors, which decreases range of motion in the hip joints, leading to back pain
● Tight hamstrings, which can negatively affect gait and balance and contribute to low back pain and knee stiffness
● Progressive abdominal weakness, which leads to hunching, suboptimal posture, back strain, and discomfort (long-term, this can also contribute to herniated spinal discs)
● Muscle imbalances, which can result from atrophy and reduced flexibility caused by prolonged inactivity
● Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs when blood clots form in veins deep within the body and can result in pulmonary embolus, which can be fatal (DVT typically affects the lower extremities but may occur elsewhere)
● Elevated blood pressure, which can develop due to prolonged periods of inactivity
Luckily, reducing your risk of developing health issues associated with prolonged sitting isn’t tough at all. Let’s take a look at some simple things you can do to stay as healthy as possible even when you have a job that requires you to sit for several hours each day.
Get Up & Move!
Taking periodic breaks from sitting is one of the easiest and most effective things you can do to dramatically reduce your risk of sitting-related health issues. So while you’re at work, make sure you’re getting up and moving throughout the day!
Research suggests that taking a brief break from your desk chair every 30 minutes or so to get up and move around can make a big difference in your health. If you know you’ll have a tough time remembering, set a timer to remind yourself. And the best part is, you don’t have to do anything remotely strenuous.
Just a couple of minutes of light movement will improve blood flow, keep your muscles more limber, and help prevent excessive tension and discomfort.
● Take a walk to the water fountain or break room
● Take a quick stroll down the stairs
● Do a couple of minutes of standing calf raises at your desk
● Stand while performing a few minutes of light stretching at your desk
● Take a short stroll on your lunch break
● Do a couple of minutes of air squats and/or lunges at your desk
● Take a mini dance break (maybe rally your colleagues to join in?)
After moving around for a bit, make sure that when you sit back down, you do so with good posture. If you have questions about how to sit with proper posture at work, feel free to ask! We’re always more than happy to help you learn healthier sitting habits.
Chiropractic Care: Essential Treatment for Desk Workers
If you must sit all day, one of the most effective things you can do to maintain your physical health is to schedule regular chiropractic treatments. Comprehensive chiropractic care doesn’t just involve a quick adjustment once or twice per week; it approaches whole-body health from a holistic standpoint. And more importantly, it aims to help you maintain optimal function and well-being, naturally, long term.
With chiropractic wellness treatments, your chiropractor ensures your musculoskeletal system is properly aligned, mobile, and functioning appropriately. Even if you don’t necessarily feel pain, that doesn’t mean your musculoskeletal system doesn’t need attention. Routine appointments allow your chiropractor to detect slight issues before they become glaringly painful problems, so you continue to feel and function your best.
At Bomberg Chiropractic, we offer a variety of non-invasive therapies designed to address the physical problems associated with sedentary professions.
Low back pain, neck pain, tingling extremities, and headaches are common among desk workers. These issues often develop as a result of poor sitting posture, which gradually shifts the spine out of its normal alignment. Routine chiropractic adjustments gently bring your musculoskeletal system back into proper alignment, which helps alleviate discomfort and stiffness while improving mobility and overall functioning.
Movement Based Massage
Prolonged sitting places your body in an unnatural position, which can reduce normal blood circulation and place undue pressure on your spine and surrounding muscles. Muscle strain, combined with poor circulation, can lead to scar tissue development and painful muscular knots known as trigger points.
Connective tissues can also take a beating from excessive sitting, resulting in issues such as tendonitis and tendonosis. Eventually, muscular or connective tissue tension can contribute to nerve compression, which compromises your mobility, strength, and overall comfort.
Movement-based massage is highly effective at gently correcting these musculoskeletal abnormalities while reducing discomfort, and improving mobility.
Hydromassage is a fantastic way to relax tight, sore muscles and alleviate discomfort. The treatment utilizes pressurized jets of water set to specific temperatures and concentrations, which gently oscillate inside the massage bed, beneath the recipient.
Dr. Bomberg’s custom programs each treatment based on your unique needs to ensure optimal results. Unlike traditional massage, Hydromassage allows you to remain fully clothed.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation uses a low-voltage electrical current to gently stimulate nerve fibers and override pain signaling. If you suffer from chronic pain, tension, or muscle spasms, TENS therapy is an effective method of alleviating discomfort and improving mobility.
Keep in mind, though, that while some patients experience long-term relief, the treatment typically elicits temporary results. TENS sessions are often combined with other chiropractic services for optimal results.
If you’re new to chiropractic treatment, check out 10 Common Questions About Seeing a Chiropractor to learn all about what you can expect.
Set Your Desk Up for Success
The manner in which you sit can be more detrimental than the sitting itself! Make sure you set up your work area to facilitate proper posture and ease of use, so you’re not placing excess stress on your body.
Here are a few simple things you can try:
● Use a standing desk, if possible.
● Keep your computer at eye level to ensure healthy neck posture.
● Use an ergonomic chair designed to support back health.
● Adjust your chair so that your arms and shoulders are relaxed while typing.
● Keep both feet flat on the floor — no crossing your legs!
● Don’t slouch! Sit up straight and tall, keep your hips close to the back of the chair, try not to lean toward either side, and make sure your thighs form a 90° angle with your torso.
It’s also helpful to shift your position slightly about every 30 minutes or so. Adding in a bit of gentle stretching can also keep discomfort and slouching at bay.
Schedule Chiropractic Care in New Hope, MN
When you’re forced to sit all day for work, it can be easy to forget what it feels like to have a healthy, high-functioning body. At Bomberg Chiropractic, our goal is to help you remember!
If you’ve been struggling with chronic back pain or neck pain, headaches, tingling extremities, or other physical issues associated with excessive sitting, our team is here to help. To learn more about our wide variety of chiropractic services or to schedule an appointment, give our team a call at 763-450-1755.
You can also contact us online with any questions or concerns, and a member of our team will reach out to you promptly!