The negative effects of long periods of sitting have hit the news again. There has already been plenty of research papers on sitting and back pain, attributed to excessive loading patterns on the spine. According to the latest research “Prolonged sitting may promote leg fluid retention that redistributes to the neck during sleep and contributes to snoring”. The pooling of your lymphatic fluid and its drainage might be affecting your health. It is said that 35% of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring can also cause low oxygen levels in the blood, which is of course crucial to good brain function amongst other things.
The fluid accumulation on lying is said to shift to the neck/throat area compromising the upper airways. For those with already compromised airways due to narrow passages, snoring is more likely to occur.
Calf activation exercises are advised including a pedal type motion or exercises similar advised for preventative DVT (deep vein thrombosis) could be beneficial. Our Back Vitalizer cushions filled with variable amounts of air available at our clinic is a similar but a more convenient idea than sitting on a swiss ball however more activation occurs of the deep core stabilising muscles as well as foot and calf contraction when using the back vitalizer. It can also be used on the ground in a pedal pumping motion. The rhythmic tensing and relaxing of the muscles during physical movement propel fluid through the lymphatic channels.
Sit to Stand work stations can really make a difference and during those times of sitting, a simple air cushion could suffice. The key is always to try and move as much as possible and be aware of the amount of time you spend sitting. If you have an old trampoline in the back yard, have a few jumps on that. The rebounder of yesteryear is making a comeback and places like Kmart are stocking them again and would be a great idea in the office taking up very little room. NASA has actually studied the benefits of trampolining for astronauts to help them regain muscle and bone mass without excessive pressure to their feet and legs like the treadmill. Trampolining can have a tremendous benefit to the lymphatic system. On leaving the surface of the trampoline, the lymphatic valves open, and on landing, there is an increased G force causing the lymph fluid to surge up improving its drainage.
Trampolining therefore could be a great exercise for congested lymphatics! Trampolining exercise benefits are: Easier on the joints, helps with balance and proprioception, improves lymphatic flow and improves oculomotor control (the eyes ability to locate and fixate on an object, moving or not in a field of vision). This last benefit could potentially help children with reading problems to improve their reading as well as maybe hand-eye coordination.
Here is another research paper on the effects of sitting on back pain.
For those of you who do not take care of your posture, research has found that there is an increase in morbidity associated with an increased kyphosis ( upper back curve).
So take the opportunity to get moving, apply for a sit to stand work station, be mindful of your posture and maybe try trampolining!
There are many ways you can help improve your posture including at home and work exercises.
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