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Helping Your Neck and Back Pain # 1

Neck and Back Pain
16 November 2013

A new stress uncovered!

Did you know that sitting is one of the most detrimental things you can do for your body? The human body was never designed for sitting. It was designed for movement, such as walking. When you sit daily for long periods, all kinds of interesting things can occur to your body, such as:

  • low back pain and weakness; degeneration of the vertebral column
  • neck/arm pain with stiffness/weakness; rounding of the upper back
  • weak abdominal muscles; varicose veins; general fatigue and inability to sleep
  • tension headaches and eye problems; high blood pressure; stomach ulcers
  • decreased respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular function
  • high blood pressure; weakened immune system, leading to colds
  • misuse of your body's vitamins/minerals; weight gain; heart conditions.

As you can see, there are a great deal of negative effects you will receive from the simple act of sitting.

Why is this? Sitting is an activity which does not agree with the body. How do all these problems develop? As you sit, the muscles (especially in your back) begin to get stiff. This stiffness pulls the vertebrae together and begins to cause pain, excessive rubbing of the joint and discs, contributing to degenerative changes.

You may be surprised to learn that as the muscles get stiff/tense, they use more of your body's energy so you feel tired at the end of the day. Everyone needs to understand this crucial point, if not they'll begin to worry that there is something more seriously wrong with them.

As your back/body muscles get stiff/tense you have more difficulty obtaining restful sleep. This becomes a "Catch-22" situation—the less sleep you have, the more you tense in the day due to your sitting, and the less sleep you will obtain that night.

What is the one simple thing you need to do to avoid this pattern? Go for walks! Take regular breaks at work! Get up and walk to the water cooler, visit a colleague, go chat for a bit. Movement--for example walking at lunch time of after supper works tension/stiffness from the muscles, helping you to relax. As you relax you'll have more energy at the end of the day, you'll sleep better, waking up relaxed and you'll then get into a positive "Catch-22" cycle.

These are some of the basic health benefits you'll begin to experience and your back will love you for the walking. The joints, discs, muscles and nerves will appreciate the relief from sitting that walking provides.

You now understand some of the effects of sitting daily has on your body. It is not just physical, it is also mental. At Mayo Clinic (USA), they have been researching a moving office environment. Some of the positive effects they have recorded include weight loss, less stress, decreased absenteeism, and increased productivity.

Walking is the key to life!

Please share this article with your friends, family and colleagues.

Best regards,

Dr. Don

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