Traumatologist - orthopedist of the Tomography Medical Center (@ medcenter.mrt.by) Yevgeny Krakasevich told how sedentary work affects the musculoskeletal system, why office workers often suffer from pain in the shoulder joint and whether possible problems can be avoided.
Traumatologist-orthopedist. Specialist of the medical center "Tomography"
How does sedentary work affect posture and the musculoskeletal system?
The main problem for people leading a sedentary lifestyle is incorrect posture. Most often, its formation is influenced by several factors, the main of which are long-term stay in the wrong position, poor lighting and uncomfortable office furniture.
Lack of physical activity plays a significant role in the formation of posture - weak muscles of the abdomen and back are not able to keep the body in a physiological position for a long time.
Is poor posture common?
Every year the number of patients diagnosed with problems with poor posture is increasing. This is due to the way of life: there are fewer and fewer people working physically, while the number of office workers, on the contrary, is increasing.
What is hypodynamia ?
Physical inactivity (inactivity) is a serious problem. And poor posture is not all that it can lead to. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the possible causes of premature aging of the spine and osteochondrosis. The statistics are not encouraging. More than 80% of office workers complain of unpleasant back pain.
What problems from the musculoskeletal system do office workers most often face?
In addition to problems with posture, there is another equally common one - pain in the shoulder joint. Its cause is cervical osteochondrosis. The patient can heal the shoulder joint for a long time to no avail, ignoring the root of the problem.
Wrong position of the hand and repeated monotonous movements of the fingers can lead to injury to the wrist and the development of the so-called "tunnel syndrome" of the carpal tunnel.
Prolonged immobility is the cause of stagnation of blood / lymph in the arms and legs, oxygen deprivation, and as a result, this leads to muscle atrophy. The person becomes unable to endure physical activity and gets tired very quickly.
When do you need to see a specialist (symptoms)?
The first sign of a "malfunction" in the body is the appearance of pain. In the cervical spine, there are blood vessels that supply the brain. With the development of osteochondrosis, they are squeezed. The person begins to suffer from headaches, dizziness and other unpleasant symptoms.
Most often, patients go to the doctor with just such complaints.
Why can the hand become numb in case of problems with the spine?
From the cervical spine there are nerves that innervate the upper limb. Squeezing them leads to pain in the shoulder joint or in the entire arm. Numbness, stiffness in the hands may be observed.
The same symptoms are characteristic of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, only pain and weakness in the leg are added to them.
What are the main signs of "tunnel syndrome"?
Typical signs of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain, tingling and numbness of the thumb, index and middle fingers, swelling. Symptoms become more pronounced at night. The numbness goes away quickly at first. In the future, the symptom becomes permanent.
How to organize a workplace to reduce stress on the spine?
Organization of the workplace is the first step towards reducing the stress on the spine. It is necessary to correctly position the table relative to the window in order to exclude the appearance of glare from the monitor. It is better to put it sideways to the source of natural light.
How to choose the height of the table?
The height of the table is of great importance - the position of the body of the person sitting behind it largely depends on it. Too low makes you slouch and lean forward towards the monitor, high - lift your head up. The optimal position of a person sitting at the table is an even back, forearms lying freely on the table top without raising the shoulder girdle.
Does the position of the monitor play a role in shaping posture?
Sure. This cannot be ignored. It should be placed directly in front of you at eye level or slightly below. This will exclude the forced position of the head, overstrain of the occipital muscles.
What other features of the workplace organization exist?
For office workers who receive clients, it is important to know which side of the table to position the chair for the client. There is a leading eye rule. I'm telling you. The leading eye is the one that functionally predominates in the act of binocular vision. Dominance is the preference for a visual signal from one eye to the other. This phenomenon is similar to the asymmetry of the right or left dominant hand.
How to determine the "leading" eye?
To determine which leading eye you have, you need to do a Rosenbach test. Take a pencil in your outstretched hand and aim (without squinting your eyes) at a distant object. Then cover your eyes one at a time, adjusting the scope. When correcting, the hand with a pencil is slightly displaced. The eye, at the closing of which the displacement of the hand was the greatest, is the leading one. The chair for the client should be positioned exactly from his side.
Is chair choice important for maintaining posture? How to do it?
When choosing a chair to work with, pay attention to three things: backrest, armrests, and height. If the height of the workplace is selected correctly, the knees are constantly at a 90-degree bend angle, and the feet completely touch the floor. Keep your hips parallel to the floor. This position minimizes the load on the spinal column.
The backrest plays an important role when choosing a chair. It should follow the curve of the spine in the lumbar region (lumbar lordosis).
Armrests are desirable but not required. They serve to relieve stress on the shoulders, neck and spine. In addition, the armrests provide a comfortable hand position and relieve fatigue.
How to maintain your posture?
To maintain the correct posture, you need constant self-control.
When standing, lean on both legs with equal strength. This allows you to evenly distribute the load on the spine, and it does not have to bend.
When sitting, do not cross one leg over the other. Keep your shoulders straight. Out of habit, many stress them unconsciously, especially if they sit at the table for a long time.
Try to keep your head upright at all times. When you have to carry heavy things, try to distribute the load equally on both arms and keep your back as straight as possible.
Change hands when using the bag to avoid causing curvature of the spine.
Try to wear high heels less. They greatly increase the stress on the spinal column.
Do not pinch the device between your ear and shoulder during phone calls.
What procedures will help restore posture?
To straighten your posture, you first need to eliminate all the factors that can disturb it - start with this.
Take breaks and exercise while you work. Any physical activity will benefit the spine.
After work, try to make time for sports: gym, swimming pool or a regular walk - find yours.