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 Home > City Resources > Health & Medicine > Health & Fitness

-------------------------------------- Health & fitness -------------------------------------

 Basic facts about your back  

Typing positionOur backs were actually designed for us to walk on all fours and were not designed for sitting. When the upright man evolved, little did he know that he would be spending 60 per cent of his life seated. Nor did he have the knowledge that sitting is the most stressful condition he could subject his back to. In fact, the interdiscal pressure while being seated is eleven times greater than while we are standing.

The many years that we have spent at home, in school, college and in our offices, have actually resulted in the abuse of our backs. Furthermore, the fact that there is no cure for back pains except pain killers and bedrest, is all the more reason to prevent such disorders in our backs taking place. Thus, prevention is the only way to avoid backaches.

Proper seating posture"I would like to emphasise how a good work environment can influence an employee's health positively. Some simple tips on selection of ergonomic furniture and proper seating will help corporates not only in enhancing employee productivity, but also in eliminating hidden costs like employee downtime for 'stretch breaks; lost time due to back pain and repetitive stress injuries; absenteeism; mounting medical bills and as it happens abroad, or workers' compensation claims," says P D Lam, President, Office Equipment Division, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd.

Avoid backacheWith a deeper understanding on the subject, Godrej & Boyce's Office Equipment Division decided to come up with a book on understanding and preventing backaches and neck pain, right posture, selecting office chairs, home exercises for the back, etc, to benefit both corporate offices and well as individuals.

Understanding back and neck pain

Improper seatingThe neck: Holding the neck too long in poor alignment can cause severe neck pain. Keeping your neck 'forward and down' or 'forward and arched backward' or 'dropped forward and turned to one side' or even 'arched backward and turned,' all lead to disorders in your neck, leading to pain.

The shoulders & arms: A slipped or prolapsed disc in the cervical spine will result in severe pain in the shoulders, arms and hands. Small movements will make the pain worse. Working without an armrest will also cause pain in this region.

Mid-back: Sitting for long hours in one position will cause severe pain in the mid-back. This part of the back is often the site of sustained muscular contraction and ligament strain. Incorrect posture and a badly designed chair coupled with stress and tension lead to muscle strain in the mid-back.

Lowerback: This part of the back is prone to lower back pain as a result of a slipped or prolapsed disc casued due to lifting, bending or twisting. This region is also prone to Lumbar Spondylosis, which occurs as a result of the spine undergoing certain degenerative changes like thinning of the disc and the spinal joints developing spurs, thus making the spine stiff and bone-like.

Seat bones: Pain in one buttock accompanied by pain in the back of the thigh suggests a sacroiliac joint strain. Sitting for long hours on a badly-designed chair can also force the pelvic bone to bend, leading to excruciating pain.

Courtesy: Office Equipment Division, Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd

By : Mahagyany
Photographer: Vinayak Prabhu



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