The reality is most of us sit too much. A study published by Microsoft revealed that U.S. workers spend an average of seven hours per day on a computer — more hours than they sleep at night! Sitting at a desk for hours on end can result in increased muscle tension at the neck, back and shoulders. And if it’s not addressed, over time it can lead to spinal pain, headaches and even more serious symptoms —pain, tingling or numbness down the arms. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy behind your desk:
Diaphragmatic breathing is beneficial for your physical and mental health as it reduces stress, lowers heart rate and blood pressure. For those with pulmonary disease, such as COPD, the diaphragm often becomes weakened causing it to work less efficiently. A physical therapist experienced in pulmonary rehab can teach proper breathing to reduce anxiety, slow breathing rate, increase full oxygen exchange, and improve physical activity.
With a new year comes new goals to better ourselves. Whether you have been exercising for years or are just starting out, be especially careful to avoid injury. Loss of flexibility and of bone and muscle mass increases the risk of injury and slows down recovery.
Appropriate footwear is key to preventing injuries. So, knowing your foot type is crucial when choosing walking or running shoes. To find your best shoe type, stand in front of a mirror in bare feet and shift your weight, observing your inner arch.
October is National Physical Therapy Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Physical therapy may not be the first healthcare field that comes to mind when someone is undergoing cancer treatment, but physical therapists can play an integral role in promoting a speedy recovery and in assisting a return to previous levels of activity following surgery and radiation/chemotherapy treatments.
If you are one of the 100 million Americans who experience chronic pain, know that physical therapy can be a safer alternative to potentially addictive medications. Physical therapy plays a vital role in helping to manage and overcome chronic pain through proper strengthening and flexibility exercises, manual therapies, posture and body mechanics instruction.
Knee pain while descending stairs is often due to the force on your kneecap (patella), which studies show is 3.5 X your body weight. If you weigh 140lbs, the force on your patella can be as much as 490lbs! That is a lot of stress on your knee, and the pain will be magnified if you have weak muscles or degeneration of the cartilage in the joint.
There is no better gift that you can give your loved one than taking care of your health and staying fit. Living well means that you will be able to enjoy your time together for decades to come.
Walking on an Underwater Treadmill by Julie Moon, Physical Therapist from the Oct-Nov 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life
Avoid Luggage Injuries by Julie Moon, Physical Therapist from the August-September 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life
Lumbar Stenosis Misdiagnosis by Julie Moon, Physical Therapist from the June-May 2016 issue of Generations Magazine, Hawai‘i’s Resource for Life