Grow a spine, get off your butt!
AUSTRALIAN office workers are facing a back pain epidemic.
According to new data released by the Chiropractors' Association of Australia to mark Spinal Health Week (May 21 - 27), Australia is a nation of 'sitters' and it's taking a major toll on our health.
The research points to almost half of all office workers running the risk of developing chronic diseases by sitting for almost 16 hours a day with more than half never taking conscious breaks to stand and move around.
The research found that not only do we spend a dangerous amount of time sitting, but nearly 70% of office workers are sitting incorrectly in a slumped or collapsed position and 60% say they already experience regular or occasional lower back pain.
Women aged 18-34 years have the worst posture and are most at risk of spinal damage.
Alarmingly, office workers have only 73 minutes left in a day to stand or be active, after eliminating time spent sitting and sleeping.
According to the stats, office workers are spending longer in front of a computer (almost nine hours a day) than sleeping (approximately seven hours a day), sit for almost one and half hours while commuting to and from work, and watch TV for more than two hours.
They are also sitting for up to three hours at a time without getting up.
CAA spokesperson Dr Billy Chow said the results were extremely worrying and were reinforced by an independent Australian study in 20111 which found that people who sit down for more than ten hours a day and don't exercise had almost double the risk of dying sooner than those with active lifestyles.
"It's critical we get off our backsides and move more because sitting for too long and in the wrong position can have a detrimental effect on our spine and on our overall health," Dr Chow said.
"If we're spending a lot of time sitting down with the same posture, it will cause spinal degeneration and joint inflammation that sends messages to the brain to tell it the body is stressed."