By Dr. Tyler J. Carlock, D.C.
There is a new saying going around that “sitting is the new smoking” and it is a problem that is affecting millions of Americans. How many of us sit all day for our 9-5 job? The vast majority of America is sitting more than 75% of the day. We wake up, drive to work, sit for 8 hours, drive back from work, then sit in front of the television in the same crunched posture. We, as Americans, are in a sitting epidemic. Human beings were not meant to sit this long. We develop our natural curvature of the spine as infants in three separate phases: keeping our heads up, crawling, and standing. The posture of sitting puts the most ligamentous stress on the spine, which over time will begin to reverse the normal curvatures of the spine. This will increase pain, tightness, and a slew of other symptoms including sciatica and potential gastrointestinal distress. Another big problem in today’s society is what I would like to call “text neck.” Everyone always has their head down looking at their smart phone now more than ever. This is another disastrous posture for your neck and natural curvature of the cervical spine. It can lead to headaches and tight muscles as well as arm pain, shoulder pain, and pinched nerves. Now I know what you are thinking, “Listen Doc, I know all of this is bad, but what can I do about it?”
Well, I’m glad you asked. Let me raise awareness of correct posture – sitting up straight towards the edge of your chair, head up, shoulders back, and feet shoulder width apart flat on the floor. If you are sitting all day for your job, obtain an ergonomically correct chair or a lumbar support pillow to help out your lower back. Also, it is recommended to stand and take a walk/stretch once per hour of sitting. Place your computer screen at eye level to reduce bending your neck down. Standing desks are also a positive. The most important advice is just get up and move! Movement is life and the research states that only 30 minutes of exercise a day has countless benefits such as increased mood, decreased weight, increased energy, and overall better outlook on life. Remember, correcting your posture with proper ergonomics will take some effort but it will be worth it. Visiting a chiropractor to ensure proper spinal health and movement is also an integral part of improving posture and increasing your quality of life – if you book an appointment with us and tell us you read this article – we will give you a free digital posture analysis!
Dr. Carlock is a practicing chiropractor at Village Family Clinic in Hackettstown, NJ. We are a multi-disciplinary facility that offers chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, and pain management.
Call us at (908) 813-8200 for any questions or to schedule an appointment.