In this modern world, working is often equivalent to sitting in the office for long hours. These office workers tend to experience pain, or sometimes soreness over the back and neck, especially after maintaining a sitting position for a prolonged period. Certain ‘bad’ postural habits like slouching in a chair, hunched back, pocking the chin, and cradling the phone may cause excessive stress to the muscle group and subsequently injure them.
Stand More AT (SMArT) Work intervention
The best remedy for such postural problems is to avoid maintaining the same posture for long hours. A researcher team from the UK found an innovative way to ease postural syndrome. They discovered that providing coaching, feedback on posture, and raising awareness among the office workers significantly reduced occupational fatigue, daily anxiety, and sickness presenteeism. The work engagement, job performance, and quality of life have also been notable in workers with awareness of the postural syndrome.
McKenzie Back Exercises
The McKenzie Back Exercises are particularly effective in relieving back pain caused by postural problems. Even though it is a simple set of stretching exercises and an abundance of teaching videos over the internet, practicing the exercise without proper monitoring is potentially harmful. One recent study reported that doing the exercise in the ‘wrong’ direction can lead to poorer outcomes. Hence, it is wise to do the stretching under professional supervision.
Role of telehealth
Diagnosing, assess and treat postural problems in the physiotherapy center or clinics are of cause the more feasible way. However, the situation changed when the pandemic hits, and many would- be hesitant to seek help in fear of the virus. This may cause the symptoms to be neglected and worsen. Telehealth is a good platform which people can seek opinions from professionals and get an assessment for their condition. Once ‘red-flag symptoms are identified, the patient will be advised to seek immediate treatment in the hospital. With technology, health professionals can now create awareness, provide advice and feedback on bad posture through a video call.
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Dr Foo Ching Choon
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