Can A Standing Desk Really Help Your Posture? Our Stoke Chiropractor Explains …

back care advice from our newcastle under lyme chiropractorMany of the patients visiting our Newcastle under Lyme and Stoke on Trent Chiropractic Clinics have occupations that force them to remain seated for many hours each day. These patients are often concerned about the impact that extended sitting may have on their posture and general health.

It is true that prolonged sitting is associated with several health conditions. This is the reason why so many people have started using standing desks in recent years. But are standing desks really that useful? In this post, our Stoke chiropractor explains what happens to your body when you sit all day and offer some tips for using a standing desk.

 

What Does Sitting Do To Your Body?

Sitting for long periods is unnatural to the human body and it can cause some dramatic changes to your musculoskeletal system over time, including:

  • Tight hips

    Excessive sitting can cause your hip flexors to shorten and become tight. The hip flexors are a group of muscles near the top of the thighs which connect the upper leg to the hip. Tight flexors can eventually change the angle of your pelvis and may lead to back pain relating to tight hips.

 

  • Weak abdominals

    When you are in a sitting position, you aren’t flexing your abdominal muscles. As a result, your core can become weak, which puts more pressure on your back.

 

  • Weak legs and glutes

    The same applies for your leg muscles. Because they are used less often, they will begin to decline in strength, which can impact your health in various ways.

 

  • Stiff shoulders and neck

    If you have ever sat hunched over a computer screen for hours, you would know how much it can affect the neck and shoulders. This occurs because your head tends to move forward when using an electronic device, placing more strain on the neck and shoulders. This can eventually lead to forward head posture.

 

Does Standing Help With These Issues?

Yes, standing more often can help you avoid the problems caused by excessive sitting. However, when it comes to standing desks, the answer is slightly more complex.

A standing desk is only useful if you use it correctly. Improper use can lead to health problems, including varicose veins, postural issues, muscle fatigue and lower limb swelling.

While a standing desk might improve your posture, it will not cure conditions like scoliosis or a bulging disc.

It’s also important to understand that if you have poor standing posture while using a standing desk, you may continue to suffer from back pain. Here are a few tips that our Stoke chiropractor has for using a standing desk correctly:

 

Adjust the desk to the right height

If you set your stand desk too high or too low, it may force your body into an unnatural position, placing additional strain on your muscles and joints. Adjust the height of the desk so your:

  • Spine, neck, and head are aligned
  • Spine has a relaxed “S” curve and your head is slightly back
  • Wrists sit comfortably on the desk and your forearms are be parallel to the ground
  • Computer monitor is at or slightly below eye level (if using one)

 

Take time transitioning to a standing desk

A number of people wind up at visiting our chiropractor in Stoke on Trent with a sore back after using a standing desk for a few weeks. That’s because they have suddenly made the transition from sitting all day to standing — and their body simply isn’t used to it.

When your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons are used to sitting all day, it is a huge shock when you start standing for hours on end. You might experience a moderate amount of leg pain and back pain.

Avoid this issue by giving your body plenty of time to adjust. Start by standing for 20 minutes at a time a few times per day. Gradually increase the duration of your standing until you reach 30 minutes of standing every hour. This is when the health benefits of standing really start to kick in. Just take your time and listen to your body.

 

Think about your feet

Standing in one spot for an extended period can lead to sore feet and sore leg muscles. Make it easier on your feet and legs by wearing comfortable footwear with good arch support. Also, consider using an anti-fatigue mat, which has plenty of cushioning to improve your comfort levels.

 

Be mindful of posture and move about when possible

It’s important to understand that standing for long periods can be as bad for your health as sitting for long periods. It’s important to remember that standing for several hours with poor posture can cause back pain, sore muscles. and swelling.

To avoid these issues, take a short walk every 30 minutes. Use this time to go to the toilet, get a glass of water, chat to a colleague or if at home do some housework. This will help you avoid any issues that occur because you have stayed in one position for too long. Alternately, incorporate some stretches and short bursts of exercise throughout the day.

 

Digital Posture Analysis at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic

Your posture is vital to how your body looks and feels.

Our chiropractor at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic has been helping people regain a great posture for over 25 years. In addition to neurological and orthopedic examinations, we use the latest digital technology to accurately assess a patient’s posture. We are the only chiropractic clinic in Staffordshire to use Digital Posture Pro.

You can read more about the powerful tests we undertake to evaluate a patient’s posture here.

If you are suffering back pain or you think your posture is not as good as it could our experienced team of chiropractors are here to help. You can arrange a consultation at tNewcastle Chiropractor Clinic by calling 01782 711 191 or booking online on our website here.

8 Best Ways To Stay Active During The Work Day

back care advice for office workers from our stoke chiropractorAs the owner of a chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent and Newcastle under Lyme, I see and treat many patients a week.  Many of these patients are experiencing back pain and poor posture caused by spending too much time sitting down.

When I explain that the health issues they are experiencing are exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle, they often reply “I have to sit down all day at work”.  The key challenge that these patients face is finding ways to be more active while at work.

To help you avoid back problems associated with sitting down too often, this post will share the 8 best ways to stay active during the work day.  If you require any more assistance, please contact Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic or City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke.

#1 — Ride or walk to work

If you live within a short distance of your workplace, consider walking or riding a bike to work instead of driving or taking public transport.  This single change can help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your posture, and keep your musculoskeletal system in top shape.

Obtaining some exercise in the morning and afternoon is also a great way to be more productive at work and decrease your stress levels.  If you live too far away to walk or ride, consider parking further away from your workplace to enjoy a quick 5 to 10 minute walk before you start work.

#2 — Stay mobile while at work

You may be surprised by how many opportunities there are to move around more while at work.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Stand when you are taking phone calls
  • If you are having a one-on-one meeting, do it while walking around the office.
  • Instead of sending an email to a colleague, walk to their desk and talk to them.
  • Ask your boss for a standing desk to avoid sitting.

#3 — Volunteer to get out of the office

When your boss is looking for a volunteer to pick up coffee or deliver a package, put your hand up.  This will give you the opportunity to get away from your desk and grab a few minutes of additional exercise each day. 

#4 — Exercise while at work

Many employers have discovered that allowing their staff to exercise during the workday reduces their stress levels, increases productivity levels and reduces the number of sick days that employees take.  If your employer hasn’t realised this yet, bring some of the available research to their attention.  A quick 10 minute stretching session or blast of cardio can help employees re-energise, become mentally alert, and boost their motivation levels.  Some of the best exercises to incorporate into the workplace include:

  • Stretching
    Sitting down for long periods can cause additional strain on certain parts of the body while causing other parts to atrophy. Avoid this by regularly performing stretches throughout the day.  The best approach is to set a timer which reminds you when it is time to stretch.  There are many stretches which can be performed at your desk — check out this list to get started.
  • Perform a quick cardio workout
    Run up and down the stairs a couple of times, perform some squats or walk around your office building. This will get blood flowing and keep your joints moving.  Performing a quick cardio workout before a meeting is particularly useful as it is mentally stimulating.
  • Lift some weights
    You can also use dumbbells and resistance bands while at your desk to increase muscular strength.

#5 — Have an active lunch

Make the most of your lunch break by getting active,  Instead of sitting down in a restaurant or eating while hunched over in a cubicle, eat while on the move.  Go for a walk to a local park and enjoy your lunch as you walk around.

#6 — Track your steps

One of the best ways to assess how active you are each day is to track the number of steps you take.  This is simple to do with a mobile phone app or fitness tracker like the Fitbit.  You can set movement goals each day and attempt to beat your record for most steps taken while at work.  This will help you avoid spending too much time sitting at your desk.

#7 — Take the stairs

This is a simple yet effective tip for staying active — whenever you are given the choice between stairs and an elevator or escalator, take the stairs! 

#8 — Start an office fitness challenge

Consider starting an office fitness challenge where participants have to walk a certain number of steps each day or lose a certain amount of weight in the next 3 months.  This will encourage everyone in your office to maintain a positive attitude towards health and fitness.

For more helpful health and fitness articles, follow us on social media. We also regular publish useful advice and exercise information on our website. You will can find exercise videos here  and advice videos here.

Our team of chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic and City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke on Trent are here to help you.

Take Care Of Your Back This Summer Of Sport

Well summer is here and while there is no guarantee that the sun will shine and temperatures will keep soaring, we can be assured that there will be a feast of sport for us to watch on TV. For some this is something to get super excited about, for others not so much!

If you are someone who can’t wait to plonk yourself on the sofa or in your favourite chair for hours on end to watch some sport, you may want to heed the advice of our chiropractor at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic and make sure that you keep your back safe.

Many people are unaware that sitting for prolonged periods of time can trigger back pain. Whilst sitting may appear to be passive, sitting incorrectly can put almost twice as much pressure on the back as standing.

If you are going to spend hours watching your favourite team or sports person on telly this summer then follow the following tips that our chiropractor has put together for you to keep your back safe.

  • Change you seated position at least every 20 minutes. The best way to do this is to stand up and move around.
  • Whilst there’s a break in play, e.g. at half time, do some simple stretches.
  • Check your posture at regular intervals. Your back should be firmly against the back of the sofa or chair you’re sitting on. This will ensure your back is upright and you’re not slouching or slumping.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Enjoy your summer of sports and keep your back safe.

It’s Time To Get On Your Feet

It’s time to get ‘On Your Feet Britain‘ again on 27th April when Get Britain Standing in association and Active Working launch their annual day to promote sitting less and moving more during the working day.

As chiropractors in our busy clinic in Newcastle Under Lyme we see first hand the impact that sedentary lifestyles are having on people’s lives. Sitting for prolonged periods can lead to back pain and worryingly research shows it can lead to increased risk of a host of other health problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Depression

The average time a British person sits for in a day is 8.9 hours! That’s a lot of time. However, it’s surprising how the time mounts up. There’s a useful calculator on the Get Britain Standing website that allows you to calculate how many hours a day you spend sitting. Try it – the results may surprise you.

If you are suffering back pain then our chiropractors at Newcastle Chiropractic Clinic are here to help you. Why not call us on 01782 711 191 to book an appointment.

Mums Take Care of Your Backs

It’s Mother’s Day this coming Sunday and we wish all you mums a happy and healthy day.

Mums often underestimate just how much pressure they put their backs under on a daily basis. Our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor offers this general posture advice to all mums to help them keep their backs safe.

Improving your level of fitness, gaining muscle tone and developing your core strength help to make you less likely to injure yourself. Your chiropractor, GP or health care provider can provide advice on exercises that can help you achieve these things.

Simple activities such as stretching and shoulder shrugging can help keep your back in line.

Sitting for prolonged periods is not good for your back or your general health. Stand up regularly and walk around, this would also be a good time to do some simple stretches.

When you are sitting, let the seat take your weight and keep as much of your body in contact with the seat as possible ensuring that your knees are lower than your hips.

Always lift with your spine straight and your knees bent.

Keep your backs safe mums.