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Good Posture Equals Good Health

Stories from either side of the Atlantic Ocean have highlighted the advantages of good posture and its relationship to good general health. One of the articles found in the May 4, 2005 PR Newswire highlights the issue that numerous people spend all day tapping away on a keyboard in the office just to return home and slouch in a recliner for hours as you're watching TV. This article highlights that 80 % of Americans haven't only endured back pain, but help with it in how they sit, exercise, work and sleep.

Across the "pond" in a related April 2005 article within the British "ResponseSource.com" comes the headline, "Work May Be Hazardous to Your Health." This information also highlights the risks of workplace posture and its impact on health. In this post the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) joined forces with Targus, leading supplier of mobile computing cases, to conduct the investigation that indicated that one third of office workers make no alterations in either seating or computer equipment when switching desks. The article noted that the same percentage of office workers say they currently suffer back pain and experts believe there could be a connection. The American PR Newswire article noted that the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) was declaring May to be "Correct Posture Month" and is using this event to focus on the relationships between posture and health. Spokesperson for the ACA Dr. Jerome McAndrews stated, "Once established, poor posture results in a chain reaction all through the body. The digestive and respiratory systems will likely be affected by poor posture, especially poor sitting posture. And in more severe cases, where poor posture has had major effects on the musculoskeletal system, there might be a resulting negative impact on the vascular system." In the British article, Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association commented, "Whether in the office or in the home, computers have started to dominate our everyday life, yet what we don't realize is they actually have the capability to damage our health. The nation is suffering from an epidemic of back pain and our working lives may very well be triggering this. By taking the time to adjust your chair and also by taking regular breaks will help protect your spine and prevent the onslaught of back pain".

Both Chiropractic organizations released a number of recommendations to aid in dealing with the posture issue. Similarly, The International Chiropractors Association also released recommendations associated with posture and sitting at work. These include:

When sitting - use a chair with firm low back support. Keep table or desk top elbow high, adjust the chair or use a footrest to keep pressure off the back of the legs, and maintain your knees a little higher than your hips. Stand up and stretch frequently--every hour if you sit for a long time. Be careful not to sit on a fat wallet; it may cause hip imbalance!

When working on a computer - take a one or two minute task break every twenty or so minutes when you work at a computer screen. Keep the screen 15 degrees below eye level. Place reference materials on a copy stand even with and close to the terminal.

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