Even if you sit comfortably at your desk, a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of developing a hunchback.
Unfortunately in today’s modern world, most of us spend most of our days slumped over a computer desk at work and our evenings bent over looking at our devices. There is very little time when we aren’t in this fatal position.
We all operate like this on a daily basis that it probably won’t come as too much of a shock if we told you that sitting like this will increase the risk of developing a hunchback later in life because of the sedentary lifestyle.
The research into this has come from a professor of physiotherapy at the University of Newcastle who has noted that bad posture can lead to serious problems in later life. If people do not make changes soon it could lead to the development of a hunchback and a spine that cannot be straightened.
The first question is, what is a hunchback?
Known in medical terms as kyphosis of hyperkyphosis, a hunchback is essentially an abnormal curve in the upper back. There are a number of types, but the most severe comes from an inherited bone disease known as Scheuermann’s. This strain affects around 0.4 per cent of the population.
Most people suffer from a hunchback as a result of older age when gravity and bad posture takes its toll on the spine. This type is noticeable around the upper back, close to the neck. You may have heard of the disease as “dowager’s hump”.
But the result is not simply because of bad posture. There are other issues that contribute – such as lower bone density, decreased back muscle strength, and the problem has even been linked to hormonal changes in women, such as after the menopause.
The definitions of hunchback can be difficult. In fact, they range so much that 35 percent of healthy women between the ages of 20 and 64 have some form of hump, or hunchback.
Because there are so many levels of hunchback it means there are also so many ways of reversing the issue. If you are suffering from even a mild stiffness then it is possible to change this now before it’s too late.
How to prevent a hunchback
While it isn’t 100 percent effective, there are ways to make a difference and decrease your risk of developing a stiffness in your spine. By doing the right stretches, exercises, physical activity and postural adjustments, you can reverse the likelihood of a hunchback.
If you work at a desk and generally have a sedentary lifestyle, it’s recommended that you stand up and walk around, or perform exercise at your desk, every 30 minutes. This can not only help your back but also your eye muscles and other types of muscle discomfort you get from sitting down.
If you struggle to remember to take a break, then there are programs you can download that remind you at regular intervals.
Put your feet on the floor, sit up tall, and put your arms by your sides. Pull your shoulders back, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and then reach your fingers towards the ground while tucking your chin in to lengthen your back. Keep your eyes forward as you feel your back stretch. You should do this around five to ten times every 30 minutes, and ideally standing.
How should I work?
Evidence has shown that working on a tablet or laptop is much worse than working at an organized work station with a desktop computer. It has become such as a problem that it has even been called “text neck”. If you are going to work for a long period then make sure you are set up correctly, with your feet on the floor and on a chair that supports your back. Avoid looking at your laptop on your bed or couch, as this is much worse for your back.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, take this article seriously into consideration.
By Charlotte H.