A lot of modern day jobs require people to sit for long hours at a stretch. Whether you’re typing at work or you’re watching movies or videos over the Internet, the digital life keeps us slouched for long hours in our seats.
The unfortunate things about this however is that seating for long hours does a lot of harm to our bodies as bad seating posture has been consistently linked to back pain, weakened muscles, and reduced height over time.
A study conducted on office workers in the United States found out that 30% of workers that sat for long hours had neck and wrist pain, 35% had arm pain, 43% had back pain, 45% had shoulder pain and 58% had eye strain.
Check out the 5 adverse effects of sitting for long hours and ways in which you can prevent them.
Sitting for long hours will put a lot of pressure on your spine as opposed to standing. The back is made even worse if you’re sitting hunched as the discs that make up the spinal cord cannot expand and contract to absorb blood and nutrients. This makes the discs become compressed and results in long term loss of flexibility which increases the risk of having herniated discs.
It is essential you pick a good chair to avoid this problem. Look for a chair that has an adjustable height, which you can set in such a way that your feet can comfortably rest on the floor. You can also make use of a solid cushion to support your lower back.
There’s a likelihood that you’ve experienced numbness in your butt and hips so much so that you lean forward at your waist as a result of sitting for long. Sitting for long hours makes your hips and legs to become tight and the longer you sit, the tighter the two gets.
Walk around after 30 minutes to an hour of sitting. This will help to stop tension from building up in your lower extremity muscles. Stretch out to release tight hip flexors by shifting your pelvis forward, bending your front knee and tucking your butt under until you feel a deeper stretch in the left hip for 30 seconds.
Dislocated and painful wrist are common in people who do a lot of hand washing and those who type out a lot of documents on a computer.
This problem occurs because you tend to twist and stretch your hands and fingers while washing or typing. The pain you feel may also be as a result of carpal tunnel syndrome, and it may be accompanied with tingling, numbness and shooting pains through the hands and wrist.
Ensure that your computer keyboard is laying down flat and that your chair makes your elbows as close to the keyboard as possible. Also make sure that you take breaks between typing plenty of pages to avoid numb wrists.
Strained Neck and Shoulders
One common effect of holding your phone to your ears or typing in a computer is that you hold your head and neck forward which cause the muscles around your neck to become overstretched. It’s common to hold your neck and head forward while working at a computer or cradling a phone to your ear. Driving for long hours or looking down at your phone can have similar effects which results in sore shoulders, back and neck strain.
You can solve this problem by ensuring that you sit up straight and ensure the monitor screen of your computer is at eye level. Also avoid tilting to one side if you’d be at your computer desk for long hours.
Simple exercises which you can practice at your desk include rolling your shoulders backwards and down and squeezing your shoulder blades together 10 times each.
You can also bring your ear to your shoulders 10 times on each side and push your head backwards into your car head rest and hold for 30 seconds if you’d be driving for long hours.
Strain On The Eyes
With a lot of people using computers, smart phones and televisions, strain on the eyes have become a major source of concern with 50 to 90 percent of computer workers and smart phone users complaining of eye problems.
Strain on the eyes can be experienced as sharp pains, dull pains, burning sensation, blurring, double vision and headaches which vary in individual persons. Eye strain means different things to different people. As such, any discomfort you experience as a result of viewing something can be categorized as a strain on your eyes.
You can avoid strains on your eyes by ensuring the screen of whatever device you’re viewing is well illuminated. You can test this by cupping your hands over your eyes. If your eyes feel better, then you should change your screen light settings.
Also try to blink as frequently as possible to prevent your eyes from drying. Take regular breaks from staring at the screens of electronic devices. Stand, stretch or stare into the distance away from the computer, every 15 minutes to give your eyes a break from the illuminated screen.