Long hours spent sitting in front of your desk, driving on long-haul trips, or traveling on planes or buses can leave you feeling worn-out and cranky. Lady Sitting For Long Hours & Back Pain

This is because not all chairs are ergonomic, or your work area may not be set up in a manner that encourages proper posture.

Back pain is the most common cause of work-related disability in the United States and is one of the most common causes of absence from work, second only to the common cold.

Although our bodies aren’t designed to stay in a sedentary position for long periods, many jobs nowadays force us to stay in the same position for several hours on end, and most likely with bad posture, at that.

For instance, when you’re working with a computer having a monitor that’s set too low, you tend to slouch and sit with a rounded back – a position that creates considerable stress on your spine.

How Sitting For Long Hours Can Cause Back Pain:

When you slouch, the back muscles are weakened because they are held in an abnormal position for a long period.

A rounded back also collapses the intervertebral discs – cartilaginous joints sandwiched between adjacent vertebrae of the spine – pushing them outward to the back.

When this happens, the disc herniates, resulting in a slipped disc.

A disc that severely bulges outward can press on the nearby nerves, causing pain that can radiate down to your legs.

Not only that – slouching can also exert pressure on the soft tissue on the neck, giving you not just back pain but neck pain as well.

How To Prevent Back Pain:

There are many causes of back pain, but you can determine if it’s due to poor posture and ergonomics.

You can tell that this is so if the back pain:
Tips To Prevent Back Pain

  1. Goes away after you switch positions;
  2. Gets worse at certain times of the day – usually at the end of the day – but not during the weekends when you’re not working;
  3. Begins at the neck area, moving down the upper and lower back and radiating towards the extremities;
  4. Is felt after, say moving into a new office and using new chairs or desks.

Here Are A Few Tips To Prevent That Annoying Back Pain:

1) Break The Sedentary Position Several Times A Day.

It’s not enough that you get up from your seat for your coffee break or lunch break. Stand up, pace the room, and do a few stretching exercises every half-hour or every hour at least.

2) Use A Lumbar Roll.

There are several models of lumbar rolls available at online stores, but it’s easy to improvise one.

What’s important is that a wedge is used to fill in the curved space that non-ergonomic chairs have, to prevent your back from assuming the position of a hammock. The lumbar roll “forces” you to straighten out and assume a more natural posture.

3) Set Up An Ergonomic Physical Environment.

We’re often assigned to workstations with standard measurements, such as the size of the chair, the distance of the tabletop from the floor, and the computer monitor level.

However, since people are of different heights and body sizes, a standard measurement cannot possibly be applicable to everyone.

If you’re the boss, invest in workstation designs that are tailor-fit to the users. It may seem like added expense but it will definitely result in healthier, happier workers.

If you have a home office, check the best positions for you before having anything constructed. You can also use an external keyboard for your laptop to allow you to have a more relaxed posture.

4) Be Aware Of A Few Posture Myths.

Contrary to popular belief, sitting with your spine at a 90-degree angle to your thighs is Not the most ideal way to go!

A study conducted at the Woodend Hospital in Scotland showed that a 135-degree body-thigh sitting position, with the feet remaining on the floor, was the best biomechanical posture.Woman Back Stretch

In a study of 22 volunteers without histories of surgery or back problems, scientists found that a slouched, or C, position showed a decrease in spinal disk height, indicating wear and tear.

The 90-degree upright sitting position showed a high degree of disk movement, while the 135-degree posture fared best in terms of the degree of pressure placed on the spinal discs.

5) Exercise Regularly.

The importance of regular exercise cannot be emphasized enough, and long hours at the office is no excuse.

There are several simple strengthening exercises that can be done while in the office, and they could help you avoid excruciating back pain.

On the other hand, if you do have the time to spare, you can engage in bicycling, swimming, or walking – just a few of the best exercises to keep your back aerobically conditioned.

M. Jamal

The principle behind a sauna’s therapeutic benefits is based on the belief that our mothers held when treating our fevers in the past.

Many of them wrapped us in thick blankets to induce heavy sweating and to release the toxins from the body, helping us to feel much better right after the unconventional practice.

When one sits in a sauna, the body is tricked into thinking that it is experiencing a fever, speeding up the production of white blood cells.

What happens to your body when you’re in a sauna?Woman in Sauna

The skin temperature is increased by about 3 degrees Centigrade, simulating a fever and possibly killing bacteria, viruses, and toxins inside the body.

During your time inside a sauna, you will be breaking out into a sweat.

As this happens, your body will require a larger amount of oxygen.

This sets off a chain of events, such as creating a demand for the lungs to work harder and thus expel more toxins. Other organs react similarly, that is, working overtime and squeezing out more poisonous substances through sweat.

A good side effect is that the skin, which is incidentally the body’s largest organ – also gets a tune up as we perspire. Just as an automobile becomes less efficient when not in use, so too will our skin.

Your heart rate increases even as you’re only sitting down, and your circulation improves as well.

Lactic acid, formed during workouts, is also expelled during a sauna session.

This is why it’s advisable to have a sauna treatment after a heavy workout – but only after an adequate rest period and a cold shower.

It is also said that a sauna treatment aids in the production of interferon in your body.

This is a protein which is known for its anticarcinogenic properties.

Did you know that in Europe, clients are made to have a sauna session prior to a body massage at spas?

This is because a sauna treatment prepares the body muscles by loosening and relaxing them, making them more receptive to kneading and massaging.

In the U.S., on the other hand, the sequence is reversed.

The massage is normally administered first, followed by a sauna treatment to eliminate the toxins that have been freed with the massage treatment.

“Can I Lose Weight With A Sauna Treatment?”
Sauna and Weight Loss!
First, a sauna or a steam bath is not a recommended method for weight loss. If it were, we’d probably see less people in the gym and more in saunas.

Most, if not all, individuals want a loss of body fat, but the fact is that water is primarily what’s lost during a sauna session.

You become extremely thirsty after coming out of the steam room because of the fluid loss through perspiration.

When you take water after the session, whatever weight you lost will be regained.

When you take a high-calorie drink instead of water, however, you may even end up gaining fat because of that drink’s caloric content. This shows you that the weight loss after a sauna treatment is merely a temporary loss.

Saunas are more beneficial in detoxifying the body than in losing weight.

It is also great for giving the cardiovascular system a workout and for improving blood circulation.

However, you can only stay in the sauna room for so long as there is danger of dehydration and of overstraining the heart.

New technologies are being introduced to enable you to enjoy a sauna for longer than 20 minutes, such as the infrared sauna.

Here, the heat is able to reach into the body much deeper and you can thus get a good cleansing sweat at only 120 degrees, as opposed to traditional saunas where a temperature of 180 degrees has to be reached before results can be seen.

M. Jamal

It seems like a natural follow up to last week’s post “5 Myths About Weight Loss”

I’m about to share with you an interesting video clip that goes behind the scenes of the weight loss industry. You’ll hear about:

  • The 19th century Belgian mathematician formula used by the government. This same formula actually marks Russell Crowe and George Clooney as obese!
  • Fat people who Exercise Regularly vs. Thin People Who Don’t; who’s better off?
  • When big, fat doesn’t automatically translate to unhealthy!

Some intriguing insights that ought to shift you from a ‘weight loss’ perspective into a ‘lifestyle’ change perspective.

Here’s the video. Would love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Have a great day,

M. Jamal

Posted in How-to Factor at 1:02 am | Comments (1)

Researchers work relentlessly on studies that would help shed light on the elements surrounding weight loss. Each year, many new discoveries crop up, and it would help to know the truth behind some of the most commonly held myths:

Myth #1: “I Can Choose To Lose Fat Only In Certain Parts Of My Body.”woman weight loss Myths

Age, genes, and gender affect the pattern by which we lose fat.

To be able to reduce the fat on a certain area, your overall body fat should also be reduced.

Apparently, in men and in some menopausal women, the midsection, thighs, and hips are the areas that accumulate fat first and are also the areas that lose fat last. Exercises such as crunches and sit-ups only exercise the muscles beneath the fat.

Myth #2: “I Avoid Starchy Foods Because They Make Me Fat.”

Potatoes, pasta, and breads are rich in starch, true; but they are ready-to-use fuel sources.

They’re all carbohydrates and burn quickly. Dietitians suggest that starchy foods make up 60% of our daily diet as only a minute percentage of it is converted into fat. Stay away from the processed carbohydrates, however.

Myth #3: “I Won’t Get Any Calories From Fat-Free Products.”

Even “calorie-free” products have calories in them, but they are given this label because their calorie content is too little to be consequential – that is, less than 5 calories per serving.

The US Food and Drug Administration authorizes the use of terms such as “fat-free,” “sodium-free,” or “sugar-free” for products with less than 0.5 g of these substances.

The downside to these products is that to compensate for the loss of taste due to the removal of fat, they may be packed with extra sugar, and you may end up with a calorie-dense “fat-free” product. It is thus important to check the labels and select products that are low in both sugar and fat.

Myth #4: “More Exercise Reps Mean More Fat Burned.”

It’s a myth that using a lighter weight and a greater number of reps (15 to 20, 20 to 30, or 20 to 50 reps) in weight training, for instance, can burn more fat than heavier weights with less reps (8 to 12).

In weight training, during the first few seconds of extreme contraction of the muscles after the initial ATP and CP levels have been utilized, carbohydrates are used.

An average person in good health may need to perform aerobic exercises for about 20-30 minutes before even 50% fat can be burned, as oxygen is required in the fat-burning process.

When you do extra repetitions and compromise the intensity, the extra reps may not provide a significant effect which could result in the burning of extra fat.

Myth #5: “It’s Better To Engage In Aerobic Exercises Than To Lift Weights When Trying To Lose Fat.”

During aerobic exercise, you’ll actually burn more fat, especially when done in combination with a healthy diet.

However, the benefits may be short-lived.

In weight or strength training, you’ll feel the effects of a better metabolism even long after you’re done with your workout.

Weight training is responsible for building muscle mass, which consequently burns a lot of calories. The best regimen for weight loss, therefore, is still a well-thought-out combination of the two.

M. Jamal

P.S. Have you been caught in any of these Weight Loss Myths in the past? Maybe you’ve had your share of other Weight Loss Myths… which you’ve later discovered to be, well inaccurate (or not quite taking you towards the physique you desire). Let us know your thoughts…