Recently, the Sydney Morning Herald (June, 3) reported the results of some research into the health effects of prolonged sitting undertaken at University of Queensland. Prolonged sitting has been linked with increased risks of diabetes, heart disease, muscle wasting and premature death. It has been likened to the public health risk of smoking.
For most people, sitting is a normal part of the work day. A few places have introduced standing desks to help reduce prolonged sitting. Others have changed work places to encourage walking meetings, getting workers to stand when using the telephone and generally having managers encouraging workers to get up and move. These changes can also be instigated in the home to improve metabolism and long term health outcomes.
Some people find prolonged standing causes low back pain. These people often find walking easier than standing or slow walking. This is usually associated with poor control of the deep stabilising muscles. Our physiotherapists are experts in assessing issues related to muscle control and stability. They can then develop an exercise program to address the weaknesses. Don’t let the pain involved in standing stop you changing your work habits to reduce sitting times.
Published in The Village Observer, July, 2013. Written by Burns Bay Physiotherapy.