KOCHI: A sedentary lifestyle has led to an increase in the time spent sitting during work hours, travel and at home which has proved injurious to health.
An average person with a desk job spends at least eight to 10 hours sitting in a day. Back or neck pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced by them. Inactivity tends to weaken the spinal, abdominal and gluteal muscle.So, if you spend hours sitting and suffer from chronic back, then the following measures:
Good posture: Maintain good spinal posture while doing daily activities. Choose ergonomic chairs with adequate back support, adjustable height and arm rests. Walk or stretch your back muscles often.
Exercise: Regular exercises to strengthen the spinal muscles, abdominal muscles and core muscle are extremely important.
Sleep: The spinal muscles are continuously at work. They need adequate rest to recover overnight to be ready for the next day. The discs in the spine lose some water during the day. When we sleep, the discs recover the lost water pressure.
Diet and sunlight: Adequate water intake is essential to prevent dehydration. The function of the discs in the spine depends on its ability to retain enough water in its matrix. A balanced diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D is essential for muscle and bone strength. Low Vitamin D is associated with increased risk of falls in the elderly.
Quit smoking: The discs in the spine do not have their own blood supply and they depend on the adjacent vertebral body for oxygen, glucose and other essential nutrients. Smoking results in reduced blood supply to the vertebral bodies and this affects the permeation of nutrients into the discs, setting off an acceleration of disc degeneration and related problems.
(The writer is a senior spine surgeon )