5 Signs Your Desk Job is Causing Your Back Pain

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Most people know that 80% of Americans suffer from back pain. Unfortunately, our modern day lifestyle and desk-job culture does not contribute to a healthy back. Keep reading to discover five ways your desk contributes to your back pain.

-Chronic Sitting: Our bodies were not designed to sit, and sit and sit and sit all day, everyday. There is a term called, “hypokinetic” disease, which are diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle. When we sit all the load is constantly placed on the pelvis, which eventually will feel stiffness and pain. Back pain is normally the first indicator that the body has been sitting for too long.

Sitting Posture: Posture affects musculature well-being. But, there is a reason why holding good posture is difficult. Most people do not realize that our bodies “fight” gravity at all hours of the day.  When seated long-term, our posture begins to change because of the gravitational pull on the body. If we lack movement in our life, our posture worsens with time. Posture adversely affects back pain.

-Emotional Stress: Most people who work a desk job are stressed. Some holistic health practitioners state that of those 80% of Americans that have back pain, 80% of them are causing their back pain from emotional stress. When we are stressed, our muscles tense. It’s part of the “fight or flight” response. Long-term, we learn how to channel our stress to certain areas of the body, most which includes the spinal column and upper back.

Lack of Energy: Sitting causes a lack of energy. Combined with chronic sitting, the body begins to feel sluggish. Once our posture worsens, combined with a lack of movement, we lose energy. Its a vicious cycle, but the same applies in the opposite realm. When you move you feel better and have more energy. Many people who are tired from staring at a computer all day also experience lack of energy. The spine cannot feel vibrant when the body doesn’t move. Breaking through the “lack of energy” barrier is the hardest for most people.

-Desk Attire: Most people who work at a desk wears business or business casual clothing. This mostly affects females, but wearing high-heeled shoes everyday can drastically change our posture. Our bodies adapt to the lines of stress that is placed upon it.  High-heeled shoes begin to change the posture of the foot and ankle, leaving it in an unnaturally plantarflexed state. When the feet shifts, our muscle and bones in the legs and back also shift. Generally, the calves become shortened, which flattens the feet. The “collapsed arch” internally rotates the leg bones which tilts the pelvic forward. As a result, this causes a lordotic curve in the spine, which causes back tension long-term.

Are you looking to help strengthen your back and core? Contact us at manager@sfm-1800fit.com to schedule a free assessment and strategy development session. If you are a new PT client, take advantage of our new promo 5 30-min. sessions for $100! All sessions must be used within two weeks from the date of purchase.

How to Say Goodbye to Chronic Fatigue and Tiredness

Do you find yourself tired at work especially in the afternoon? Usually when this happens we often grab the nearest caffeinated beverage to keep us alert. Long-term, caffeine either becomes a required or abused substance where you find you need higher dosages of caffeine than before. If this sounds familiar, it is time to understand what is going on in the human body.

First, the human body is extremely complex and science continuously discovers something new as we evolve. However, one thing that has been consistent is understanding that energy comes from the cell level. The mitochondria is known as the “powerhouse” in our cells. We increase our mitochondria with exercise, movement and healthy eating.

Exercising promotes the growth of mitochondria, thus producing more energy. Therefore, when you say “exercise makes me feel better,” it’s a combination of oxygen flowing and the production of more mitochondria. Each cell can contain numerous mitochondria. In addition, eating habits can help or hinder that mitochondria growth and production.

So when you eat either large portions or something that makes you feel lethargic, (including coffee) these foods are depleting the mitochrondria, thus leading to less energy. Long-term unhealthy choices may lead to chronic fatigue, which also couples with negative thoughts and depression.

At the cellular level, in terms of producing energy we want to increase(not zap) our mitochondria. Exercise, healthy eating and deep breathing play a huge role into equation. So if you want to say goodbye to extreme tiredness –  move more, eat healthier and keep deep breathing. It’s that simple.

Do you have chronic pain?

Chronic pain is something that many Americans experience on a daily basis. Pain can be felt in a specific joint or region of the body.

It is known that approximately 80% of Americans suffer from chronic low back pain. What is most interesting about chronic pain is that there are various physical, emotional or mental triggers that increase the chronic pain. Therefore, the cause of chronic pain maybe unknown if there is not pathology to dictate a physical ailment that causes pain. An example of this would be if someone herniates a disc, he or she will most likely feel back pain.

Here are some “issues” that may contribute to chronic pain.

-Sedentary lifestyle: The soft tissues and bones in the body will adapt to the stress, or lack of stress, placed upon it. In this case, stress is considered as physical activity. There is a reason why a ballet dancer looks tall and open, compared to the desk jockey who may have a hunchback-like posture.

-Injury: Injury, whether bone or soft tissue, will obviously lead to chronic pain while the injury is healing. However, long term it is important to make sure that the soft tissue around the joint stays moist and lengthened to relieve long term pain.

-Stress: Stress is known to America’s number killer and the (in)direct cause to many issues such as a heart attack. Here’s what is most interesting, everyone channels stress to different parts in the body. This “channeling” is commonly seen in the shoulder / neck area, but for those who have suffered a severe injury may find the pain ‘reawakens’ the injured area. Thus, mental and emotional trauma or stress can cause pain.

-Asymmetrical Body: From desk jobs to wearing sling bags, our modern lifestyle hinders the human body. Uneven joints or soft tissue can lead to chronic pain in various areas of the body.

Good Posture vs. Bad Posture

Have you ever wondered why a ballerina has amazing posture? Or why an individual who has a desk job has poor posture?

Well we are here to let you know why. The body, muscles in particular, adapt to the lines of stress placed upon it. For example, if someone is sedentary and works a desk job, eventually gravity will continue to pull the body toward the ground, thus creating that hunchback-like posture. On the other hand, a yogi or ballerina who is lengthening muscles and fascia may have an erect, tall and open posture.

This is known as Davis’s Law. In simple terms, our soft tissue models imposed demands. This law is the reason why we have poor posture if leaving the body untrained and sedentary. When training the soft tissue will adapt to its demand and restructure, lengthen and improve with consistent work.

So if you have wondered why your posture is not up to par, think about your lifestyle and what changes you could make to better improve your muscle’s posture and function.

How do feet affect posture?

The feet are the foundation of our bodies. With every step that you take, stress is transferred throughout the rest of the body. The feet and posture are synergistic to one another. Therefore, in movement the feet affect our posture and our posture affect our feet.

Individuals who experience knee, hip, back or neck pain may experience this due to the foot’s position. Flat, pronated or supinated feet impact the joints above them. Depending on the foot’s position, this shifts the rotation of the leg bones (fibula, tibia, patella and femur) and pelvis. When the lower extremity bones and joints are shifted, this in turn affects the curvature of the spinal column.

With this shift in the spine, in addition to working desk jobs and staring at smart-phones, our upper extremities adapt due to the gravitational pull. If sedentary, our postures become “humpbacked” and/or head tilting forward. Therefore, this cycle of the upper-body being “out of alignment” then further affects the lower body, especially the feet. With each footstep, stress and energy transfers to the joints. And long-term stress results in malfunction of the skeletal or musculature system. This in turn is what causes joint discomfort and / or muscular pain.

However, if someone is moving with a malfunction in their posture, the pain generally arises quicker

To find out if your feet are to blame, you can undergo a posture analysis. This analysis is included within our assessment for individual and small group personal training.