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Why Too Much Sitting Is Bad for You

woman sitting at desk with neck painWe all know about the well-documented dangers of smoking cigarettes, but are you aware of what’s been labeled “the new smoking”? It’s sitting, and too much sitting is bad for you. In fact, it’s wreaking havoc on people’s health.

The Negative Effects of Sitting

The forward head posture that people are in all day looking at a screen is detrimental. That forward head position causes the muscles at the base of the skull, the neck and the upper back to work overtime to hold your head up. It also puts some irritating force where the brainstem and spinal cord meet.

Here are some of the many issues that can result from prolonged sitting:

  • Asthma and other breathing problems
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Neck pain
  • Upper back tightness

Consider a Standing Desk

One of the easiest ways to avoid sitting too long is purchasing a high-quality standing desk or workstation. “I remember telling people about 15 years ago that in the future employers will figure out that these workstations save them money because they have healthier employees,” said Dr. Lichter.

Those who use a standing desk throughout the day have fewer headaches, less neck pain and they take less time off of work because they feel good. So not only are these workstations keeping people healthy, but they help companies make more money because their employees are in better health and more productive.

Reducing Neck Tension and Tension Headaches

If you have neck tension, we encourage you to perform exercises #1 and #2, found on our Home Care Exercise page. Experiencing a tension headache? We recommend moist heat, which brings blood flow to the muscles, helping them to relax. The muscles are also easier to stretch. These exercises are good to do while you’re in the shower. Getting hot water beating on your muscles and blood flowing loosens them up and makes them easier to stretch.

Other approaches to ease tension headaches include chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, stretching and supplements. We recommend a muscle-relaxing formula that contains magnesium and valerian root. Supplements are sold at our practice. Contact us today for more information.

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