Did you know that 70 percent of people spend more than six hours sitting down? Notably, the switch to remote working of people across the country has caused us to work longer than usual. And while it seems that it doesn’t pose any harm to the health, several studies explain that it can cause problems, including lingering upper neck pain and increased risk for various diseases. We’ve listed some of these health complaints and some notable studies. Hopefully, these can help you seek the correct remedy.
Upper Neck Pain
A study reveals that sitting during your entire work shift can cause a significant decline in the quality of your health. It often impacts your cervical spine, especially if you crane your neck and tilt your head towards the computer screen for several hours. As you might remember from previous UCA blog posts, the head weighs up to 12 pounds. Naturally, the longer you spend sitting in an awkward position, the more pressure you put on your cervical bones. Consequently, this will result in worse upper neck pain.
Achy Shoulders and Back
Sitting for a long time can lead to slouching or slumping. It can also affect your spine’s flexibility and the quality of your intervertebral discs. Additionally, it can aggravate conditions like nerve pinching in the shoulders and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Tight Pelvic Joints and Muscles
Besides the neck, shoulders, and back, prolonged sitting can impact your hips. It can cause the hip flexors and pelvic joints to tighten and limit your body’s range of motion. Additionally, it can lead to debilitating issues like sciatica.
Weak Butt Muscles
Sitting for a long time renders your glutes or butt muscles inactive. Because of this, the muscles weaken and fail to support the pelvic bone and joints. Studies explain that this can easily result in various problems, including:
- Increased risks for hip injuries and problems (sciatica, pelvic bone dislocation, hip fracture, etc.)
- Worse neck, back, shoulder, knee, and leg pain
- Decreased mobility and agility
Mushy or weak abdominal muscles is another common effect of prolonged sitting. The inactivity can cause the muscles to shorten and stiffen, preventing them from functioning correctly. It can also increase your susceptibility to spine-related problems like cervical subluxation and disc degeneration.
Sitting for long hours doesn’t just impact your body posture. Studies explain that it can also impact mental health. Poor posture and inactivity can reduce the average amount of blood distributed to the different body parts. This can potentially affect the brain and endocrine systems, leaving you vulnerable to developing temporary or lingering cognitive impairment.
Orthopedic doctors explain that excessive inactivity can weaken bones and joints. This happens because the bone is a living tissue that can wear out over time. If you sit for long hours every single day, your bones will fail to receive enough nourishment needed to stimulate bone cell repair and production. Over time, you might develop osteoporosis or suffer from paralyzing fractures and bone dislocations.
Poor Blood Circulation in the Lower Extremities
Sitting causes the leg and thigh veins to work twice or thrice as hard to move blood back to the heart. This can result in swelling in your lower extremities, increased varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis.
Inactivity can also result in poor energy use and increased deposition of fats in the adipose tissues. It can also put you at risk of developing hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, and blood clots. Your poor work habits can also put too much pressure on your heart muscles, which can potentially lead to serious problems like heart failure.
Risk of Premature Death
Because sitting increases your susceptibility to a long list of health concerns, it can also put you at risk of dying at an early age. According to the Cancer Society, prolonged sitting can aggravate various health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Alzheimer’s, peptic ulcer, kidney disease, diabetes, and Parkinson’s.
Eliminate Neck Pain and Other Effects of Prolonged Sitting
Thousands of companies across the globe are leaning towards remote working or hybrid work to keep up with employee demands and minimize health risks. This means the health concerns will also likely stay unless you think of better work practices.
Hopefully, our discussion above has helped you grasp the situation and the different health problems that might affect you long term. Also, we strongly recommend making a few changes to your workplaces such as:
- Positioning your gadgets at an eye-level
- Creating a dedicated workspace
- Switching to an ergonomic chair and table
- Scheduling regular stretches
Additionally, you might find it beneficial to seek an upper cervical chiropractor. Unbeknownst to you, the cervical bones (C1 and C2 bones) below your head might have shifted by a small fraction. They can potentially compress nearby tissues and force the rest of your vertebral bones to move away from the body’s central axis.
In no time, the structural changes can cause a series of health mishaps ranging from lingering upper neck pain to chronic sciatica pain. The bones might also interfere with your central nervous system and trigger symptoms that deter you from completing everyday tasks.
Find out if you have cervical subluxation today and keep your spinal bones in proper alignment. Then, once you’re certain that you have postural imbalances, you can start receiving chiropractic adjustments and manage your risks for neck pain and the rest of the problems we listed above.
Contact the nearest neck chiropractor and schedule your first C1 and C2 bone check up.