Ergonomics for Good Health

Most people spend majority of the day behind a desk at a computer, either at school, at work, or at home. The proper seated posture is not necessarily in the forefront of everyone’s mind. However, setting up your work station could make a huge difference in your posture. Some of the common, poor posture abnormalities include: slouching, forward head position, rounded shoulders, forward-tilted (sway-back) pelvis, and rotated hips.

Why is this of importance to you? Each of these postures puts extra weight and pressure on the spine and can lead to a number of debilitating problems from tension and soreness to headaches, neck and back pain, and fatigue. What is becoming increasingly evident is that poor posture ultimately influences the spine and nervous system, and in turn, overall health and well-being.

The following are some suggestions on what your posture should look like behind a desk in a seated position:

The Right Seat

Seat height: adjustable ranging from 16-21 inches. Position with feet flat on the floor, with thigh horizontal and arms even with the height of the desk. Seat width and depth: for comfortable support, 17-20 inches in width. Sit with the back against the backrest while leaving 2-4 inches between back of the knees and seat of the chair.
Lumbar support: for support of the inward curve of the lower back to prevent slouching and straining the muscles in the low back.
Backrest: for support of the natural curve of the spine in mid- and lower back, 12-19 inches wide.
Seat material: to provide enough padding to be comfortable to sit on for extended period of time. Choose a breathable cloth fabric.
Armrests: for relaxed shoulders and arms.
Swivel: for easy rotation to access different areas without straining.

Sitting Position

Position the monitor at 18-24 inches (approx. arm’s length) away with top of screen at eye level. Shoulders relaxed and arms at 90° from spine, without a bend in the wrist. Hips  at 90°  with the thighs parallel to the floor. Adequate thigh and leg clearance. Knees bent at 90° with the feet supported flat on the floor.

Proper Lifting

Step 1: Test the load to assess the weight on the object.
Step 2: Stand close to the load with feet at about shoulder width, with one foot slightly in front of the  other for balance.
Step 3: Squat down bending at the knees , NOT the waist; keeping the  back straight.
Step 4: With a firm grip, slowly straighten the legs, without twisting the body.
Step 5: Keep the load close to the body to prevent any strain on the low back. If turning is necessary, turn with the feet, not with the torso.
Step 6: Follow the procedure in reverse order to place the object below the waist level.

Helpful alternatives:

Ask for assistance.
Use a cart, dolley, or another lifting devise.

 

Chiropractic for Postural Health

Chiropractors have seen a growing trend in posture problems and spinal issues linked to the use of laptops, computer mouse devices, portable telephones cradled under the chin, and hours in front of the TV. Our bodies reflect what we do with them most. There is also a significant increase in problems triggered by handheld computer games, MP3 players and excessive mobile phone texting, especially in a younger population of children and teens. Moreover, when young children have poor posture, it may lead to a greater risk of poor neuromotor development that will affect their health later in life.

Chiropractors are experts in the care of the nervous system and spinal health. They will help to identify and address the lifestyle habits which may have initiated the postural issues. In most cases, postural problems can be corrected and sometimes even reversed. At the end of the day, a healthy spine and nervous system means a healthier life.

Have additional questions? Contact below in comments, at drtijana.dc@gmail.comWebsiteFacebook, or Twitter!

Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana

If you do not already have a local chiropractor, call Dr. Tijana at 706.254.4579 to schedule your first appointment for YOU & YOUR FAMILY for a comprehensive health assessment TODAY!

Hazards of High Heels

High heels have been a fashion trend for quite some time now, which sometimes resembles acrobatics for many women. Even though, the shoes can be works of art, they also can be associated with certain health risks, which vary from altered biomechanics and gait, stability, loss of proprioception, decreased foot strength, and overall discomfort. So here area few things to consider before slipping into the next pair of gravity-defying shoes.

Posture

High heels contour the spine into a S-curve, which allows women to accentuate certain parts of their body:

  • Center of gravity is pushed forward
  • Chest positioned forward
  • Lower back positioned forward
  • Hips positioned backward
  • Pressure at the knees
  • Downward force and pressure through the balls of the feet, which depends on the height of the heel
    • higher heel = more pressure
    • Example: 3 inch heel = 76% of pressure on forefoot

In comparison, flat shoes allow the spine to maintain neutrality and equal distribution of body weight throughout the entire foot.

Physiological changes in muscles & tendons

Calf muscles

  • May shorten and tighten over time
  • Collapsing of the arches
  • Difficulty of relaxing the foot completely

Achilles tendon

  • May shorten and tighten over time
  • Inability for the foot to rest at a 90-degree angle
  • Limited foot mobility

Knee joint

  • Extra strain on the knee complex tendons
  • Balancing on a high heel increases the pressure on the inside of the knee
  • Quads work harder and increase pressure on the kneecap
  • Possibility of osteoarthritis over time

Ankle 

  • Sprain may result from twisting of the ligaments in the ankle between the foot and the lower leg
  • Balancing on the heel creates instability
  • Increased chance of falling, especially if older or obese
  • Sudden shift in balance can twist the ankle and sprain ligaments
  • Haglund’s deformity (“pump bump”) – a bony enlargement from irritation to the heel from rigid backs or straps of heels

Toes

  • Pressure pushes down and forward on the ball of the foot
  • High heels have narrow and tight toe boxes, which force toes to conform to the shape of the shoe without enough room to relax
  • Loss of strength in intrinsic muscles of the foot
  • Create minor conditions, such as bunions, corns, and hammertoes
    • Bunions: a large bony bump at the base of the big tow, which resulted in the joint being forced to permanently misalign and rub against the shoe
    • Corns: hard calluses that form on the top of the toes or on the side of the small toe
    • Hammertoes: a permanent curl at the middle joint of the middle toes that resulted from shortened and tightened ligaments and tendons; pressure on the ball of the foot will cause pain

We all recall the story of Cindarella and the anecdote about what women were willing to do to fit into the glass slipper. We’ve come a long way in terms of fashionable yet comfortable shoes that do not require risking our spinal health, myself included.

Chiropractic can be instrumental in regaining your postural alignment and in preventing further advancement of bony abnormalities in the kinetic chain from hips, knees, ankles, to the toes.

Dr. Tijana’s favorite way of locomotion

Feel free to contact me here with any questions, at drtijana.dc@gmail.comFacebook, or Twitter!

Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana

SCHEDULE THE FIRST APPOINTMENT FOR YOU & YOUR FAMILY for a comprehensive health assessment TODAY at 706.254.4579!

Good Posture = Good Health

“Straighten up!” have been the words that echoed from my mother for most of my childhood. That is how I earned myself a spot in a ballet class in second grade. But she had a great point….POSTURE has a direct effect on the health and well-being of an individual.

Up to 90 percent of people suffer from poor posture, with the most common posture abnormalities being:

  • Slouching
  • Forward head position/translation
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Forward-tilted pelvis (sway back)
  • Rotated hips

Each of these postures puts extra weight and pressure on the spine and can lead to a number of debilitating problems from tension and soreness to headaches, neck and back pain, and fatigue. What is becoming increasingly evident is that poor posture ultimately influences the spine and nervous system, and in turn, overall health.

Poor posture impacts the nervous system, which significantly alters how a person operates day to day. Poor posture may have adverse effects on the well-being, overall mood and ability to concentrate, study effectively or even work. Abnormal input and output from the body does not allow it to function at its full capacity.  Chiropractic adjustments improve the function of the nervous system and in doing so they enhance all of our bodily functions.

Chiropractors have seen a growing trend in posture problems and spinal issues linked to the use of laptops, computer mouse devices, portable telephones cradled under the chin, and hours in front of the TV. Our bodies reflect what we do with them most. There is also a significant increase in problems triggered by handheld computer games, MP3 players and excessive mobile phone texting, especially in a younger population of children and teens. Moreover, when young children have poor posture, it may lead to a greater risk of poor neuromotor development that will affect their health later in life.

Chiropractors are experts in the care of the nervous system and spinal health. They will help to identify and address the lifestyle habits which may have initiated the postural issues. In most cases, postural problems can be corrected and sometimes even reversed. At the end of the day, a healthy spine and nervous system means a healthier life. Finding a recommended chiropractor in your area is a wise choice. If you need help with that, I can certainly be of assistance, so do not hesitate to ask.

Improving the ergonomics at home, at work, and in the car may have an additional benefit when seated. These changes will help decrease the pressure on the spine as well as decrease discomfort and fatigue.

Have questions? Contact me here, at drtijana.dc@gmail.comFacebook, or Twitter!

Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana

SCHEDULE THE FIRST APPOINTMENT FOR YOU & YOUR FAMILY for a comprehensive health assessment TODAY at 706.254.4579!