Very much like the lessons learned from smoking cigarettes, over the last three decades, the chiropractic community has learned lessons about the negative effects of prolonged sitting at a desk. In my practice, Soft Touch Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, CA, anywhere between 30%-40% of my patients come to me with pain caused by prolonged sitting.
When the personal computer became ubiquitous, we realized that hunching over the keyboard was bad for our posture and caused neck pain. Chiropractors began advising patients then to sit up straight instead of bringing their shoulders forward towards the monitor. The sale of ergonomic chairs and back support devices skyrocketed. In the 1990’s we found out that sitting up straight was not optimal, so we advised patients to bring their monitors to eye level. In the early 2000's we found that all that was not enough to ameliorate the problem so we advised patients to sit back on their chairs 135 degrees and bring the monitor above eye level. In 2021, we now have come to the conclusion that standing is the best position for working at a desk and sitting is detrimental to a person’s overall health. Each solutions brought progressive relief but it was not enough. None of them were optimal solutions. The conclusion is, don’t sit.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time interferes with the natural movement of the ribs, constricting the flow of breath. It also interferes with the lymphatic system which is responsible for carrying toxins out of the body.
The absolute best thing to do, if you have to work at a desk in front of a desktop or laptop, is to stand with a soft surface under your feet whether it be well-soled shoes or a cushioned mat. Raising work stations are now available in many different forms. It’s fine to stand for a while and sit for a while, but it’s best to spend the majority of the time standing. While standing, the screen you are working on should be at a level where you don’t have to hunch over at the shoulders.
If your work requires you to spend the majority of your time in front of a screen, consult your chiropractor on solutions to relieve back pain, neck tension and improve your posture. If you are in the Valley area of Los Angeles, call Dr. Masoud for a free exam 818-831-0100.