Articles in Category: Ergonomics

Why sitting the whole day followed by exercise is not ideal

on Tuesday, 11 June 2019. Posted in General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

A Lesson in Anatomy

Why sitting the whole day followed by exercise is not ideal

Before we begin, you need to first understand that we have 2 types of muscles in our bodies; Postural (or Tonic) and Phasic muscles. This is important because it will help you understand:

a. Why taking micro-breaks in between long sitting during the day will improve your exercise regime.

b. Why you might not feel an exercise working in the right places initially and know that they eventually will.

Postural and Phasic Muscles

Postural (or Tonic) muscles are used to sustain our posture while in a standing or sitting position. The phasic muscles on the other hand are primarily for movement. Postural muscles are prone to shortening and tightness whilst the phasic muscles tend to become lengthened and weakened when injured and also during ordinary stresses of daily life.

Why taking micro-breaks in between long sitting during the day will improve your exercise regime.

The problem with sitting for a long period and being inactive is that we will most likely favour using our postural muscle in that environment and this unfortunately also means our brain will disconnect from our phasic muscles.

This is not ideal because when we start exercising again, we won’t be able to use our movement muscles as efficiently as our brain will instead default to getting the postural muscles to do the things the movement muscles should be doing.

A good example of this is people trying to do a squat and is finding that it hurts their back. That is because they have trouble activating the gluteal and hamstring muscles after sitting in the chair for hours so the back muscles are contracted instead (which is not what we want).

This is why it is important to move around throughout the day in the office so your brain is able to use some of those moving muscles and is not set to a default postural muscle usage.

Why you might not feel an exercise working in the right places initially. Push through it and you will feel it work.

As mentioned earlier, phasic muscles are prone to lengthening when they are weak and on top of that our lifestyle causes us to use the postural muscles more often which is why the brain has some difficulty redetecting these phasic muscles initially. Using cues and doing the exercises slower in lesser repetition helps fire up the big phasic muscles and relax the postural muscles.

So don't feel beaten up if you do not feel the right places working at first. The more often you use these muscles, you know they will eventually work.

Remember! Your postural muscles tend to shorten and tighten when stressed and the phasic muscles will lengthen and weaken. So if you are feeling tight on some of the postural muscles listed and having some trouble activating the phasic muscles, it is time to re-evaluate your exercises to improve your condition.

Written By Iris Tan
B.App Sc (Chiropractic)
M.Clin Chiropractic

Reference

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1360859298800430

4 Exercises to Beat Text Neck

on Tuesday, 11 June 2019. Posted in General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

What exercises help with good posture?

4 Exercises to Beat Text Neck

Over time, we have all suffered from what they call text neck or bad posture. Bad posture can come in many shapes and forms. Sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time has people slouching and sticking their head forward, bad ergonomics can contribute to poor posture at the work desk and smartphones can cause bad posture. In fact, text neck is one of the leading causes of bad posture as younger generations progress to being attached to their smart devices.

Throughout time, there have been many products and cues that have been used to try and address the issue of bad posture. Products range from gym balls, back supports, postural chairs, postural belts and varidesks. Even postural cues like 'pull your shoulders back' or 'stand up tall' are common phrases used.

As much as these products and cues have their positive points, nothing beats having a good postural exercise regime that doesn't take too long to implement into a daily routine.

The first thing that should be implemented are micro breaks. Micro breaks are a great exercise for office workers that are sitting for the majority of the day. It works by setting an alarm or reminder to get up move around and reset the body.

Below I have listed four exercises that help address bad posture by either targeting weak muscles to help strengthen or by increasing the mobility through that stiff mid back region.

Seated thoracic stretch

Brugger stretch

Chin tucks

Floor angels

Written By Luke Attkins
Bsc Chiropractic, M. Clin. Chiropractic, Dip. Remedial, Dip. FIFA Medical, Cert. DNS Sport

Is My Scoliosis a Reason for Concern?

on Wednesday, 06 March 2019. Posted in Newsletters, General Health, Ergonomics, Chiropractic

Scoliosis

I’m sure most of us know or have heard of 'SCOLIOSIS’ but for those of you where this word is foreign, scoliosis is a term used when your spine is not straight or is curved to the side.

Now that we know what scoliosis means, did you know that there are different types/causes of scoliosis? Rather than bombarding your brains with too much information, we will discuss the two most common types of scoliosis; Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis and Degenerative Scoliosis.

1. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis is by far the most common form of scoliosis affecting children between the ages of 10 to 18 years old. Unfortunately, we still have no idea what the single cause is however we know sometimes this form of scoliosis can be correlated with lower back pain.

Not all children with scoliosis will have pain/symptoms so these are some of the signs to look out for:

1.One shoulder is higher than the other

2.One hip is higher than the other

3.Their head will not look centred with the body

4.When bending forward, a hump is obvious

Scoliosis

2. Degenerative Scoliosis

Degenerative Scoliosis or also known as Adult Onset Scoliosis; is a type of spinal deformity that progresses overtime when we are adults. Therefore, people who don’t have a history of adolescent scoliosis can develop it from spinal degeneration (wear and tear of the spinal bones), Osteoporosis (loss of bone density) or Osteomalacia (softening of bones).

Unlike Adolescent Scoliosis, there is usually no obvious physical deformity. You are likely to experience more back pain (probable to be from the degenerative spine) and numbness/tingling down the arms/legs that initiates patients to have it checked by a health practitioner.

A QUICK ASSESSMENT (ADAM's SIGN)

If you are questioning whether you or your child may have scoliosis, this is a simple test to perform and identify it at home:

1.Start with the person in a standing position.

2.Have the person bend forward from the waist until the back is in a horizontal plane.

3.Keep the feet together, knees extended and arms at the side.

If a rib hump is visible while the person is bending forward, it is an indication of scoliosis.

Scoliosis 2

Physical examination is just the initial testing for scoliosis. Ideally an X-ray is required to have a better idea of the severity/degree of the deformity. Moral of the story is if you aren't sure; have it checked out by a professional!

 

Written By Iris Tan

B.App Sc (Chiropractic) M.Clin Chiropractic

Reference: