COLUMN: The sedentary lifestyle and its harmfulness

Saudin Mulabdić

Long-term seating often causes difficulties, and today it has become a global problem, as technology development has reduced the need for movement, while business deadlines are shorter. Many of today’s health problems stem from inactive way of life and sedentary lifestyle.

The human organism is not designed for long-term retention in one position. Regardless of whether we stand for a long time, we sit, lie, squat or kneel, with one of the forced positions of the body, one part of the musculoskeletal and joint system will suffer.

The locomotor system is the most purposeful in motion. A constant change in position of the body places demands on various musculoskeletal parts of the body that maintain their survival and function precisely by occasional and balanced loading.

While sitting in the office, our body is in a position where the muscles of the pelvis are inactive, that is, “sleepy” and our hip hinges are in a shortened position. The folded hips and knees lead to shortening of the muscle of the pioas major and after a long sitting, our body loses the harmonization of the action of the muscles of the flexor and the extensor on the joints, the joints are unevenly stretched. Due to shortened muscles, the position of the body and the spinal column changes, while hips do not extend completely and compensate the lower (lumbar) part of the spine.

Since the spine functions as a spring, the changes in one part also affect the other parts of the spine, and so the neck and thoracic part of the spine is affected. A long list of “sedentary diseases” is in motion, and salvation is in exercise.

In the future there will be more and more jobs and activities related to computers and seating. If we are forced into such work, we should occasionally break the forced position, stretch out, separate a few minutes for short-term stretching exercises and light exercises to maintain the tonus of weakened muscles of the hull and spine.

In the spare time, we regularly engage in activities that put our entire body out of the dosed load (fitness). Also, it is especially important that we adapt our work to ourselves – we should be seated in the higher chairs to ensure that the angle of the hull and thigh is not less than 90 degrees, the ideal height of the chair would be 70 centimeters from the floor, because in this position the leg is relaxed down and the main muscle of the hip is not in a short position, the height of the table corresponds to the height of the elbows, that the position of the computer and mouse is not too close or too far away (the middle position of the hand is important), and the height of the monitor should be at the height of eyes.

It is recommended to carry out three exercises that will keep our back stable, the muscles of the hull and pelvis more powerful. The exercises were designed by one of the highest authorities in the field of human biomechanics and spinal surgery, Canadian prof. dr. Stuart McGill, and exercises were named after him “McGill Big 3”.

These three exercises include – curl-up, side-bridge, and bird-dog exercise. These three exercises should be practiced on a daily basis with additional stretching of the muscles, exercises can also be performed in an office with own weight.

Mr.sci. Saudin Mulabdić, PHM specialist, e-mail: [email protected]

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