Life goes on regardless of how you feel. Whether your live and work in Bergen County or across the state line toward the New York Metropolitan Area, among the few things that slows you down is pain — that hard-to-ignore discomfort that robs you of your appreciation of living. In short, pain, whether acute or chronic, puts a damper on emotional well-being.
If you rely on your chiropractor to make your life less painful and more enjoyable, you might take heed in knowing that you can prevent future suffering by anticipating the impact of lifestyle preferences.
Musculoskeletal misalignment is almost always the villain that results in the pain that brings people to chiropractic noninvasive treatments that can restore the emotional well-being lost due to pain.
For instance, you are not alone if you spend hours every day sitting. More of us are likely to be seated for prolonged periods daily when on the job. More so than was the case with previous generations. After a long day at work, we’re sitting on the commute home —in a car or on public transit —or elsewhere on the premises if we work from home. Then it’s time to relax after work, which often requires a seat at the dinner table and, after that, winding down in your favorite chair.
We learned in a 2019 study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that the average adult sits for more than six-and-a-half hours every day (eight hours for adolescents between ages twelve and eighteen), which was an increase of more than hour from a decade before. Since then, we’ve endured a pandemic and the economic and activity slowdowns induced from that and its aftermath, which has assuredly increased our sitting time.
We’re spending significantly more of our personal time on a computer or smart device, most of which require seated positions and hunched shoulders as we concentrate on screens often as small as the palms of our hands.
Sitting Tops Types of Sedentary Behavior
In our never-ending quest for seated comfort and taking the load off our overburdened feet, we are hunched up in cozy postures unaware that what feels good now is going to result in pain and discomfort due to misalignment from our neck to our ankles. This is clearly sedentary behavior and an invitation to bodily misalignment.
This sedentary lifestyle does not include our sleeping time in bed, which, for many, often result in bodily contortions that make sitting seem therapeutic. Nevertheless, excluding bedtime, the tally of sedentary time daily increases to ten hours for people between the ages of 65 and 74, according to more recent studies, and eleven hours and beyond by age 75 and beyond. That means that adults who are up and awake for sixteen or seventeen hours a day are sedentary —much of it from sitting—for forty to 65 percent of their waking hours.
Chiropractic medicine is very much attuned to the fact that extended sitting is a key contributor to poor posture, which shifts bones and discs, applying unnatural pressure and stress to neck, shoulders and back. Regular visits are a preventive way to maintain a properly aligned spine so hundreds of hours sitting every month do not take their toll later in ongoing joint and muscle pain, chronic back pain and even headaches resulting from misalignment of the neck and spine.
Does that mean we should do all we can to avoid sitting? Too much of any posture can be harmful. Sometimes standing or sitting is unavoidable due to work or home demands, and that’s where your chiropractor is ready and willing to come to your rescue.
Dr. David Saint completed his undergraduate degree at Lafayette College and earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree and Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Life University. He is a past board member of the Council of New Jersey Chiropractors and an active member in the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors. Dr. Saint is also a member of the International Chiropractic Association and the American Chiropractic Association. He is certified in physiotherapy and numerous chiropractic adjustment techniques including Gonstead, Thompson Drop, SOT, Full Spine, HIO, instrumentation adjusting, soft tissue mobilization, Manipulation Under Anesthesia, and the Webster Breech Technique for breech presented mothers.