All about physiotherapy and its benefits: Sitting is the new smoking. According to research, sitting or lying down for too long increases your risk of chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and increased blood pressure. An analysis of 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking. In short, “sitting kills.”Also Read - What is Urinary Incontinence? Know The Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Today, IT professionals and people with desk jobs are guilty of sitting for long hours in front of their laptops, without realising the long term effects a sedentary professional lifestyle can have on their musculoskeletal health. Sitting behind a desk for long periods can be detrimental to your spine, pain in your shoulders, back, neck, elbows, wrists etc. All these pains usually have the same cause – improper posture. Also Read - Virtual Reality Combined With 3D Motion Technology Can Help in Performing Physiotherapy at Home

Let us break it down for you. The average human head weighs nearly 12 pounds. That’s about as much as a bowling ball. When you pivot your head on your neck and bend it forward by 45 degrees, you’re pretty much-exerting pressure upwards of 50 pounds (roughly 24 kgs) on your neck. Explains the tightness and the pain, doesn’t it? Also Read - Easy Physiotherapy Exercises to Get Rid of Neck Pain

Most IT professionals are so focussed on their work, they forget to take ergonomics into consideration. They’re straining to see the screen that’s either too high, too low, too far, or too close and as a result bending their neck, rounding their back and shoulders and exerting immense pressure on their neck and spine. This is what causes the trapezius muscles and neck muscles to stiffen and tighten and leaves the body feeling stiff and in pain at the end of every day. To top that off, the problem can further extend to the arms via the shoulders if the posture stays the way.

The sad part is, with all that work pressure and deadlines to meet most professionals don’t take a break to realise that they’re working through the aches and pains and that this needs tending to. Sometimes all it takes is a small correction in your posture, a slight adjustment in the height of the laptop table and chair, and these small changes are enough to make a big difference to your work experience. In fact, ensuring that your laptop is at your eye level, or that there’s enough support for your lower back as you sit at the desk, or that your elbow has a surface to rest on as you type away on the laptop, are small but significant examples of how the right ergonomics can prevent surgery and long term harm.

Well, that’s where a physio comes in. Physiotherapists are qualified and trained medical personnel that specialize in issues pertaining to muscles and ligaments. They help release the stress and tension in the worked up muscles, and strengthen the surrounding muscles to improve your posture in the long run. To put it simply, you’re slouched over the computer because your back muscles aren’t being used enough to hold you upright – and that’s where your physiotherapists step in to train you and wake up those muscles.

In short, Physiotherapy can help professionals with desk jobs in the ways as follows:

  • Reduce or eliminate pain
  • Avoid Surgery
  • Improve Mobility
  • Recover from or prevent chronic pain
  • Improve in productivity
  • Improve your balance
  • Manage age-related issues

If you’re another IT professional plagued with aches, remember that working a desk job doesn’t always have to be a pain in the neck. You just need to find a good physiotherapist, who’s the perfect ‘phyt’ for you!

— Inputs by Darpan Saini, CEO, Phyt.Health