#057: Dr. Christie’s 6-Part Strategy to Fight Desk Sitting Pain
Disclaimer: This is a podcast transcript and grammar will not be ideal, but the info is valuable!
We all have to earn a living, but sometimes we don’t think of the effects of sitting for an extended period has on our physical well-being. Welcome to The Modern Desk Jockey, providing you with healthy solutions for the desk worker. Our conversations with industry professionals and topic-based podcasts are guaranteed to keep you active for a healthy more effective work week now here’s your host, Dr. Kevin Christie.
Hey Desk Jockeys, welcome to another episode of The Modern Desk Jockey, I am Dr. Kevin Christie excited to bring another show to you. We have hit the one year anniversary of this podcast which is really exciting for me, you know I didn’t know how long I’d be able to do it but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it even some of the technical difficulties over the years over the year I should say, and I’m going to dedicate myself to another full year. So my goal is to keep on going but I try to take things year by year and today I’m going to discuss something that I maybe should have done a long time ago because I get this question all the time from patients in our desk workers and simply that question is how do I prevent the pains from sitting or the negative effects of sitting and obviously I usually just direct them. I’ll answer the question then I direct them to the podcast because obviously the goal of this weekly episode is to provide that information but obviously a lot of people just like to have a concise answer and so, what I’ve done is, I’ve actually taught this in webinars and I’m glad I’m finally getting around to a podcast episode is essentially giving you a six-part strategy on basically the best practices to prevent the musculoskeletal negative side effects of sitting and so we’re going to break down those six things.
I’m not going to break them down into extreme depth, but I’m going to give you references, you know I’ll touch base on each topic and then give you references to have access to and really be able to dive deep into it because frankly we’ve covered a lot of these things in episodes, in things like that but really give you a concise answer to that particular question, but before I do I just want to give you some of our wins we’re having as a company and again our company is Health Fit Corporate Wellness. This is the corporate side of things, we do have our private practice, health fit chiropractic, and sports medicine but a couple big wins on the Health Fit Corporate Wellness side of things is one we have renewed again with the World Fuel Services to offer ergonomics initiative which is the digital-based ergonomics that provides healthy solutions for the desk worker for companies that have said and are tired of the cumbersome and expensiveness of what ergonomics tend to be and so we’re renewing that with them. Also, our truck drivers ergonomics which does include me going to a couple locations but it also has a digital base aspect as well, and the third renewal aspect of that is the Ergonomics Learning Center which is the healthy portal for the desk worker, and so that’s exciting, so that’s one big win.
Second big win is we’ve got a nice meeting coming up which we’re actually meeting with a company that provides wellness solutions for other corporations and they’re interested in our programs to potentially offer and so I’m meeting with them and so exciting times, and it’s fun to implement these at corporations, it’s fun to help create content for you folks listening and just overall gaining a lot of momentum. So it’s been a fun little ride here so far this summer in South Florida which is usually slow but we’ve been busy, it’s been nice and exciting.
So alright on to the actual real topic of today’s podcast, again so this is the six-part strategy to prevent the negative effects of sitting from a musculoskeletal standpoint. You know some of these would have some crossover into other things just overall health whether it’s mental health or it is just staying healthy internally you know blood pressure things of that nature. For instance, one is exercise so that obviously carries over but the main part of this episode is to discuss it from a musculoskeletal standpoint. So without further ado, number one is education training and understanding. I’ve always been a huge proponent that to prevent injury you need to understand how they occur and understand the nuances of what’s going on, you know obviously even from a very in-depth level we’re just now learning over the last you know x amount of years here the negative effects of sitting for the most part for many years in corporations. We always thought about the physical labors and those types of injuries and the silent killer was the desk sitter and so we’re just really getting a grasp of that and so understanding and education is always key number one in preventing some of the injuries, and some of the resources that you have for that obviously this podcast. You know we even switched it to a Monday morning release so you could listen to it on your way to work and then implement those strategies for that week and so you could always access the podcast at moderndeskjockey.com and from there you just got tons of resources and so that’s part one of the education training and understanding. Part two is we do have the desk jockeys manifesto, and you can obviously find that at moderndeskjockey.com as well and that’s an eighty-five page e-book or physical copy, however way you want to read it and digest it but essentially is a good breakdown of how to prevent the negative effects of sitting and so you have that resource. We also have the e-learning center, and so you can also find that at the same website and register for that if you like, and it’s just got everything from exercise videos to articles to nutrition I mean everything you’d want to know as far as healthy living for the desk worker and so education and training is part one of the six-part strategy, and those are some of your resources for that.
Part two is proper workstation ergonomics, that’s a huge one you know that’s going to decrease the amount of stress on your body, and we always want to have fun, we always want to decrease the stressor right? If you’re a marathon runner one way of making sure we do that is making you know proper running shoes. If you have improper running shoes or worn out shoes that’s like having you know improper alignment your vehicle, it’s going to stress the vehicle, or it’s going to stress your body unfortunately too much. It’s the same way if you have poor ergonomics it’s going to put a lot more stress on your body, so you’ve got to have proper ergonomics here, workstation obviously that’s the whole point of this podcast in a sense. A couple of resources for that you can listen to episode three of our podcast, we break down ergonomics very in-depth and the second one which I really I’m proud of, and you can go to www.healthfitcorpwel.com/self-assess, and I’ll have that in the show notes to click that link I don’t expect you to remember that if you’re driving, but that is a twenty part self-assessment of your workstation you can take and you can essentially figure out what’s right or wrong about your workstation. It’s not always about having all the fancy equipment you know some of the good chairs can help and stuff, but it’s really about fitting you to your workstation ideally and preventing injuries. So number two of the six-part strategy is proper workstation ergonomics.
Okay moving on to part three and this is micro breaks, I don’t care how good your ergonomics is if you’re not taking micro-breaks and you’re sitting for prolonged periods of time all day it’s going to be a problem, and so you have to implement your micro breaks. I like to do them every hour, and we had on episode five that topic so that you can reference that or episode forty-three Dr. Tabor Smith discusses spinal hygiene exercises which are really easy to do very, very easy to do and effective. So you have options of what type of micro-breaks you want to take and we’ve also discussed you know micro breaks can be walking meetings or instead of emailing or messaging your employee or your colleague you can walk over and tell them. You can go to you know just walk up the stairs up and down if there are some stairs to take just to get some exercise there are all kinds of ways you can just break that monotony of sitting and again as a cigarette break is not a micro break, so don’t fall into that trap. Alright, so that’s part three of the six-part strategy that’s micro-breaks make sure you’re doing that very, very, very, very helpful.
Number four is body positioning and awareness, and this is broken down really in a detailed way on episode thirty-five. So I highly recommend that but that’s where we touch on sternum up to help set your posture and also neutral spine and if you’re bending over it helps you do the hip hinge, again you can really get the details of that episode thirty-five. The second part of the body positioning and awareness is abdominal bracing, and that’s just giving yourself a good muscular corset around the spine, and the third is the power zone, whenever you’re going to pick anything up or lift it, you’re going to lift it within the power zone which is below the shoulders and above the hip, above the waist and then not reaching out too far like eighteen to twenty-four inches, you don’t reach past that. Again you can learn about the sternum up abdominal bracing and power zone on episode thirty-five. That’s the fourth part of the six-part strategy, really what I love about Part four is that I get so many people asking me, like, ‘how do I do this motion? How do I do this exercise? How do I do this?’ And there are a zillion things and activities you could do, and instead of breaking down each one if you apply the body positioning and awareness to everything, you’re going to be doing it correctly. So make sure you understand part four of that, please.
Alright moving on, part five of the six-part strategy is improving posture. I recommend listening to episode sixteen and eighteen on posture program phase one and phase two. It’s a really good way of working on specific exercises and understanding posture to help improve your posture. A lot of times it is muscular imbalances causing issue, and also sometimes it’s awareness and not understanding it, so please listen episode sixteen and eighteen it will give you a good understanding. So that’s part five of the six-part strategy and lastly part six is corrective exercises or just exercises in general that also intertwine exercises and episode thirty is a good reference show for you. Sorry that’s my dog I have a Weimaraner, I’m going just let her, she likes to shake, and she’s got these big floppy ears, and it’s pretty ironic that she’s doing that right now, but oh well this is a podcast I’m going to leave it in here. I think she settled down alright, so part six was the corrective exercises. It’s fitness, its exercise if you’re doing yoga regularly or Pilates those are all great, great things to do for corrective exercises and I recommend having that into your program. So that part six is corrective exercises and again episode thirty is a good reference for you.
Alright perfect so just to give you a little bit of a wrap-up, part one is education training understanding, part two is proper workstation ergonomics, part three is the micro-break, part four his body positioning and awareness, part five is improved posture and part six is corrective exercises. So that is your strategy, and I’m going to leave you with one tip that I want you to focus on this week, okay you know it’s each week we give you a tip and this one I want you to really focus on sternum up. That sternum is the kind of a chest bone there, and if you really sit with that sternum up you’re going to have good posture, and you’re going to heap hinge well, and it’s just amazing what that does for you. So think sternum up when you’re sitting or doing activities and that’ll be a good start for the week of your six-part strategy. So have a great week I will see you next week, I’ll see all year. Hope your downloading and subscribed and I would love a rating and review if you could do that for me as well, so have a great week talk you next week,
Now that you have a better idea of how to improve your physical health while at work let’s take it a few steps further by subscribing to our show and visiting our website moderndeskjockey.com. You can find immediate tips, preventative measures and the resources we mentioned earlier to continue to improve your well-being while at work. Tune in next time for more healthy solutions for the desk worker here on The Modern Desk Jockey.
How Do I Prevent Pain From Sitting?
Education Training and Understanding Pain/Injuries: The Goal of this Podcast 🙂
- See Episode 3 (https://www.healthfitcorpwell.com/003-desk-ergonomics/)
- See Episode 5 (https://www.healthfitcorpwell.com/episode-005-the-micro-breaks/)
- See Episode 43 (https://www.healthfitcorpwell.com/0episode-43-spinal-hygiene-to-prevent-spinal-decay-with-dr-tabor-smith/)
Body Positioning and Awareness
- Episode 35: (https://www.healthfitcorpwell.com/episode-035-the-three-body-preparation-drills-that-will-spare-your-back-neck-and-shoulders/)
Sternum Up- Keeping the sternum up automatically sets the body into good posture and maintains:
a. Neutral Spine: Maintaining good spinal alignment decreases the stress placed on the spine and discs.
b. Hip Hinging: Bending at the hips, and not the low back, decreases the stress placed on the low back and increases strength & power.
Power Zone- The zone that will optimize lifting strength and injury reduction.
a. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle and you are in the “Primary Power Zone”
b. The area up to the shoulders and down to the hips is acceptable.
c. The more you can work in the “power zone” the less fatigue on your body
Abdominal Bracing- When all of your core muscles work together, a “Super Sti¬ffness” occurs, and all 3 layers of the abdominal wall are activated to protect and stabilize the spine and discs.
Without bending forward, contract the abdominal muscles (like you are about the get punched in your gut – feel them tighten with one hand) and the buttock muscles (as if you are holding in a bowel movement). You will feel the lower back muscles contract (with the other hand) when you contract your abs and buttocks. Activities of Daily Living
- Episode 16 (https://www.healthfitcorpwell.com/episode-16-posture-correction-program-phase-1/)
- Episode 18 (https://www.healthfitcorpwell.com/episode-18-posture-program-phase-2-lower-crossed-syndrome/)
- Episode 30 (https://www.healthfitcorpwell.com/episode-30-efficient-and-effective-exercise-options-at-your-workplace/)
Tip of the Week: Sternum Up!