Fatigued at the end of the day? Blame your posture

New Delhi, 7th January 2019: According to a recent study, poor posture while working on the computer can lead to fatigue, increased muscle tension, and even injury to the vertebrae over time. The seemingly harmless posture can even limit the ability to turn your head. When the head juts forward at a 45-degree angle, the neck acts like a fulcrum, like a long lever lifting a heavy object. However, with a tall and erect posture, the back muscles can easily support the weight of one’s head and neck.

People who suffer from headaches or neck and backaches from computer work must check their posture. It is imperative to ensure that the head is aligned on top of the neck, as if held by an invisible thread from the ceiling.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Postural dysfunction or “poor” posture is one where the spine is positioned in unnatural positions. The curves are emphasized which puts stress on the joints, muscles, and vertebrae. This prolonged poor positioning leads to a build-up of pressure on these tissues. Although physiotherapy can help solve this problem, it is important to correct one’s posture at the outset. Sitting for a long time in the same position can put pressure on the back muscles and spinal discs. Further, slouching can over-stretch the spinal ligaments and strain the spinal discs causing major pain in the back and neck. Prolonged standing also has its own health implications. Keeping the body upright needs a lot of muscular effort. Standing for a long time leads to pooling of blood in the legs and reduces active circulation of blood. This accelerates the onset of fatigue causing pain in the leg, back, and neck muscles.”

Some symptoms of back and spine problems include weight loss, elevated body temperature (fever), inflammation (swelling) on the back, pain down the legs and below the knees, urinary incontinence, difficulty in urinating, fecal incontinence, and numbness around the genitals.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Apart from wrong posture at work, prolonged use of mobile phones is another major cause of spinal problems today. Keeping the right amount of curvature in the back takes pressure off the nerves and will reduce back pain. If you experience fatigue or pain when you wake up in the morning or after you’ve been sitting at your desk for a couple of hours, it may be an indication that your posture is not right.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Get moving. Physical activity helps in keeping the joints fluid. A person who is not physically active is more susceptible to back problems.
  • Eat healthy. If you maintain good eating habits, you not only will maintain a healthy weight, but you also will not put unnecessary stress on your body.
  • Sleep sideways. The best position for sleeping is on your side. If you are sleeping on your stomach, put a pillow under your lower abdomen to help take stress off your back.
  • Correct your posture and avoid stress. The importance of good posture cannot be overlooked in preventing back problems. Additionally, stress can tense your muscles, and constant tension of this kind can cause back pain. Thus, it is important to find ways to reduce stress.