The corporate industry requires prolonged hours in one or two different positions such as sitting or standing. This sedentary time can have effects on the musculoskeletal system as well as cardiovascular and cognitive health. Prolonged sitting has been associated with the development of musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, and more.
Leading Causes of Musculoskeletal Dysfunction in a Corporate Environment
One of the causes of dysfunction leading to pain is due to sustained low level activation of postural muscles. This can load passive tissues (bone, ligaments, joint) resulting in postural changes such as flattening of the natural lumbar lordotic curve. Without the structural support of muscles, the natural curve of the spine flattens and changes shape. Disruption of this curve can result in unnecessary stress on the body, ultimately leading to chronic pain.
Another cause is through chronic muscle deconditioning. This can result in postural muscle fatigue, placing further stress on passive and supportive tissues. In areas such as the lower limb, fatigue results in poor activation and blood supply. To make things worse, in the biomechanical positioning from sitting, the Gluteus Medius muscle can become inhibited due to the hip flexion position. This can lead to hip instability and further stress on passive structures, resulting in dysfunction and long term chronic pain.
Doctor's Note: “The best posture is your next posture.”
In the physical therapy world we have a saying: “The best posture is your next posture.” Whether it's sitting for too long or standing (which also has its side effects) the recommendation is to change your position.
How Physical Therapy can Help
Physical Therapists can manage postural fatigue and release stress on passive structures through manual therapies and corrective exercises. Musculoskeletal disorders left untreated can result in catastrophic failure of the system requiring extensive rehab.
Talk with one of our Physical Therapists today to find out more about how we can help with the ergonomics of your workplace and keep you pain free. Check out our other blog “Benefits of Ergonomics for Industrial and Corporate Workers” to learn more about how Physical Therapy can benefit your workplace.
Don’t forget to check out our program “Industrial and Corporate Health and Wellness Program” and improve your work environment, reduce your current pain, and improve your work lifestyle.