Preventing back injuries from “sitting” all day

A Recent article on Bicycling.com brought up a really valid point about bicycling health. That being on a bike too long can actually cause back injuries. Just like sitting at a desk too long can put a strain on your back, sitting on a bike and leaning forward for long periods of time can also take their toll on your vertebrate. The article gives good advice on how to prevent back pain and injuries while at work and while enjoying the sport of cycling.

Are you sitting down? If you’re like the average working American, you probably are. How long have you been there? An hour? Two? So long your brain has shut off and your butt’s gone numb? Welcome to the computer age, where many of us work, play, shop, bank, pay bills and rent videos without ever so much as standing up.

A recent survey of more than 6,300 men and women in the United States found that we now spend nearly eight hours a day–that’s 56 hours a week–planted on our behinds. And the consequences of all that chair time might just bring you to your feet.

Here’s a little experiment to try: Have a coworker take a picture of you poring over expense reports at your desk. Then hop on your bike and have her take a snapshot of you spinning down the road. Now place those pictures side by side. See much difference? You may actually be a little more aero at your desk–but otherwise your body posture looks pretty much the same. And considering what you’re probably doing the rest of your day, that’s a problem. The result is a confluence of orthopedic and metabolic ills that doctors now refer to as “sitting disease.”

The first step: Stand up whenever possible. The mere act of getting out of your chair is all it takes to break out of hibernation mode, switch on your fat-burning enzymes, boost your metabolism and maintain healthy blood flow through your lower extremities. You don’t have to start running marathons. “Simply standing burns three times as many calories as sitting,” says Levine. “And it’s far better for you.”

Whenever possible, walk. “Get up once an hour and walk for two minutes,” DeJong advises. “It will help keep your hip flexors and hamstrings from becoming chronically shortened and tight.” And it’s good for your spine. “The best exercise for low-back health is walking, because it places your discs under normal pressures,” Pruitt says.

[Source: Bicycling.com]

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