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.

Surprising Healthier Lifestyle Choices You Can Make

If you’re thinking about making healthier lifestyle choices, it’s could be time to be a case of out with the old and in with the new! So here are some surprisingly easy ways you can improve your wellbeing and make your habits the healthiest ones ever!

Drink Coffee to Boost Your Mood

We hear a lot about the negative health effects of caffeine, but let’s not forget that it has its good points too!  There is a link between moderate coffee consumption and improved mood. So if you’re feeling like those dark clouds are setting in, try a cup of coffee or two!

Chew Gum to Make You More Alert

Most of us have fallen victim to that afternoon slump, especially after a busy morning in work.  But did you know that chewing mint flavoured gum can help to make you feel more awake, reduce feelings of tiredness and improve your concentration levels? It can also work as a stress reliever too!

Stand More and Live Longer

Office workers, beware! Sitting for prolonged periods of time can put you at a higher risk of back pain, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other health problems. It’s simple, if you want to give yourself a better chance of a longer life, sit less and stand more! When you’re at work, try to introduce five minutes of physical activity every hour and make sure you take regular breaks away from your desk or workstation. Small changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift will also make a big difference to your health.

Stay Clean

Taking money out from a cash machine is something we usually do without thinking too much about it. But do you wash your hands afterwards? Cash machines have been known to contain the same sickness causing bacteria found in some public toilets. You wouldn’t touch a loo seat without scrubbing your hands, would you?

Think Positive

The mind and body are very closely connected, so it’s important to think positive. The stresses of life  can cause some people to suffer from a low mood, so make sure you do the things that help you to keep thinking positively. Join a class, visit friends, de-clutter the house – anything that keeps your mind in good spirits. The happier you feel, the healthier you’ll be!

Here’s to good health!

Our Newcastle Chiropractor Suggests Three Things Your Spine Loves

Want to know three easy ways to avoid back pain? Our Newcastle under Lyme chiropractor has them right here:

Work Your Core!

You spine loves exercise! And it needs it to function properly. Unfortunately, most of our core muscles (which are vitally important to good spine health) are not used much during the day. These muscles need to be toned through targeted exercise – even just 20 minutes a day can help support your spine and take pressure off your lower back.

Wear Good Shoes

Your shoes need to support your spine, whether you’re walking for exercise or just going about your daily business. Buy shoes from a reputable shoe shop and ask a store assistant to point you in the direction of shoes that provide a supportive base.

 Stand More

The discs in your lower spine are under 3 times more pressure while sitting than standing, so avoid sitting for long periods whenever you can. You should also maintain good posture – whether you’re seated or not!

Put these tips into practice and you could significantly reduce your risk of developing a painful back condition.