Sitting and Your Spine

If you sit all day at a computer, please be aware that this can have serious consequences on your health and the health of your spine. Sitting at a desk and working on a computer are among the main causes of neck and backaches today.

These backaches can be caused by the spinal stress and misalignments that result from long hours of sitting at a computer. Poor computer set-ups and ergonomics can have a negative impact on your overall health. These two factors rank high among reasons for poor performance and absenteeism in the workforce.

If you work at a computer for several hours a day and suffer from headaches, poor posture at the computer could be the culprit. In addition, if you suffer from numbness and/or tingling in your arms, hands, feet or toes, it is likely coming from the stress you place on your spine each and every day.

If you suffer from any of these ailments related to computer work, please do not turn to pain meds, which are only going to mask your problem.

You must correct your poor posture and ergonomics. So, if you have an ergonomic team at your workplace, it is important that you take advantage of their expertise. Let the specialists help you set up your workstation to prevent injury and stress to your spine.

Here are some tips that I think may be helpful.

First, never sit for more than 45-60 minutes without getting up. You must get up frequently throughout the day. Remember the old saying, “move it or lose it?” It’s true! If you do not get up and move, your joints are more susceptible to early degeneration and surrounding muscle weakness, including your core. Get up and move every hour.

Second, your computer monitor should be at the height of your head, when you are sitting tall in your chair. When you are looking at your computer, your head should not be tilted forward and down. This is the worst possible position for your spine. It can cause enormous stress, thus leading to pain in your neck, upper back, between your shoulder blades and the base of your skull, along with numbness and tingling.

Keep in mind, for every inch forward your head moves in front of your shoulders, which is what happens when you sit and slouch at a computer, ten more pounds of stress are added to your upper back and neck muscles. Raise your monitor and keep your head straight over your shoulders at all times.

Lastly, drink more water! Sitting adds 30% more stress to the spine and spinal discs than standing. This means more compression. Without movement and with more compression, the spinal discs begin to dehydrate. This is one reason why we see so many people with disc degeneration. So, stay hydrated. Although you will make more trips to the bathroom, you have the added benefits of simply getting up and moving.

Visit and like our Facebook page for other helpful hints and upcoming events. You can find us at Power Of Life Chiropractic. If you work at a desk all day and suffer with these problems, let us help you. We are offering free consultations for all Observer readers in March. Please give us a call at 440-331-4744.

My March workshop, Natural Solutions to Carpal Tunnel, will be held on March 25 at 7:15 p.m. at Panera Bread on Center Ridge Road. Please call us to reserve a space.

Bryan Ruocco

Dr. Bryan Ruocco is a local chiropractor and wellness advocate. He owns and operates the Power of LIFE Wellness Center located in Rocky River. Dr. Ruocco graduated from the prestigious Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, GA. He graduated in the top of his class and received Magna Cum Laude Honors. 

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 4:28 PM, 03.05.2015