Get it straight

PHOTO: Get it straight

Many workers spend eight hours or more hunched over their desks in the office and risk developing problems. We look at what could go wrong.

Heart disease

Muscles burn less fat and blood flows more sluggishly during a long sit, allowing fatty acids to more easily clog the heart. Prolonged sitting has been linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol.

Overproductive pancreas

Idle muscles do not respond as readily to insulin, a hormone needed for energy, so the pancreas produces more and more insulin, which can lead to diabetes and other diseases.

Poor leg circulation

Prolonged sitting slows blood circulation, which causes fluid to pool in the legs. Problems include swollen ankles and varicose veins.

Brain slowdown

When you are sedentary for a long time, everything slows, including brain function.

Strained neck

Craning your neck forward towards a keyboard or tilting your head to cradle a phone while typing can strain the cervical vertebrae and neck muscles, causing persistent neck soreness.

Inflexible spine

When you sit for a long time, soft discs between vertebrae are squashed and lose sponginess.

Colon cancer

Some studies link sitting for long periods of time to an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

Muscle degeneration

Affects muscles in abdomen, hip and gluteus maximus (back muscle). When muscles in these areas go unused, it results in poor posture, decreased mobility and hurts stability.

Soft bones

Walking and running stimulate hip and lower-body bones to grow thicker and stronger. Recent surge in cases of osteoporosis are partially attributed to lack of activity.

THE RIGHT WAY TO SIT

Screen

Top of screen should be eye level.

Mouse

Should be at the same level as the keyboard.

Wrist

Should be relaxed and straightened when typing or when using mouse.

Feet

Both feet should rest on the floor or on a footrest.

Shoulders

Keep them relaxed when using the keyboard or mouse.

Armrest

It should not hinder you from moving close to the desk.

Back

Sit on the chair with your lower back fully supported by the backrest.

Posture

Adjust the height of chair to achieve proper posture. Maintain 90˚ at the hips and knees.

DOCTORS' TIPS

Give your eyes a break by looking at a distant object regularly.

Interrupt long periods of sitting at regular intervals.

Alternate between tasks that use different muscle groups.

Perform stretching exercises regularly.

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