Lumbar Supports

Lumbar supports are a great idea for the office, car or airplane for that time when you know you will be sitting for an extended period. The good thing about lumbar supports is that you can use something simple – an inflatable lumbar cushion, a small pillow or even a rolled up jacket or towel.
The best position to place the support in is not the same for each individual, as it varies due to the curvature of your spine.The aim is to lengthen the muscles/tissues of the lumbar spine and try to feel that your spine is in a neutral position. Placing it directly onto your lower back may cause too much extension through the lumbar spine, so therefore start off by trying these 2 places:

  • At the bottom of your rib cage
  • Place it just below the belt line

Play around with the position of the support and vary it throughout the day. Also don’t forget to try it on the lounge at home for when you are watching television or reading!

Mitchell Roberts – Chiropractor 

 

Our sedentary lifestyle

When we think about it, we do sit a lot. From watching TV, driving to work, to using the computer in the workplace and then using our computer at home – we sit for a very long time each day. It is estimated we sit for around 10-15 hours per day.

seats

So, just how bad is all this sitting? It has often been termed that ‘Sitting is the new smoking’. Dr James Levine from the Mayo clinic in the USA suggests that there are over 34 chronic diseases that are associated with excess sitting. These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

What happens to our body during prolonged sitting? Our metabolism slows due to our cells not needing as much energy, our blood sugar levels and blood pressure both increase. When we are not moving, our muscles are not contracting. When muscles contract, it forces the sugar in our blood to be forced into the muscles to provide a fuel source for contraction. This is the reason type II diabetes occurs – our muscles are not using up the sugar in our blood stream.

How to minimise our seating:

Keep moving at work:

  • Get up and move for 10 minutes of every hour
  • Stretch your back and legs often
  • Walk over to your colleagues instead of emailing or calling
  • Use the stairs
  • Use a standing desk
  • Conduct walking meetings

Reduce the number of hours we watch TV, use tablets/laptops!

Making frequent posture changes is very important. Prolonged sitting does encourage more rounded shoulders, an increase in thoracic kyphosis (ie, hunchback) and a forward head carriage posture (head positioned in front of the shoulders). Breaks as short as 1 minute can even help with posture, you just need to change your static position!

A quick postural exercise:

Brugger’s postural exercise – Start by sitting on the edge of your chair with your arms hanging by your side, palms facing forward. Now rolls your thumbs out and back. As you do this, try and get your shoulder blades to touch each other in the middle of your spine. Add in a chin tuck, by tucking the chin straight back.

bruggers-postural-relief

 

Hold this position for roughly 10 seconds and perform 2-3 times. You can perform this exercise as many times as you want throughout the day. Also don’t forget to include this into your routine of getting up out of the chair and moving!

Mitchell Roberts – Chiropractor