Bad Posture can “Switch Off” Back Muscles

Slumping in front of the television or computer could deactivate muscles that support and protect your spine, triggering many otherwise inexplicable cases of lower back pain.

A European Space Agency study in Berlin, Germany, in which young men spent eight weeks in bed, showed that an absence of load on spinal support muscles can sometimes be just as debilitating as a physical injury.

Ultrasound studies have shown that in most cases of lower-back pain, either the lumbar multifidus muscles, which keep the vertebrae in place, or the transversus abdominis, which holds the pelvis together, or both, are inactive. Normally the muscles work continuously to support and protect the lower back.

Heavy lifting, whiplash or other injuries can damage and inactivate these support muscles. This increases the risk of long-term back pain, as people are then more likely to suffer sprains, or damage to the discs or other tissue in the back. However, only between 10 and 15 per cent of cases of back pain begin with such an injury. For the rest, the cause is often a mystery. Continue reading Bad Posture can “Switch Off” Back Muscles

Smartphone users ‘risking health’ with overuse of devices

People are risking their health by working on smartphones, tablets and laptops after they have left the office, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

It says people have become “screen slaves” and are often working while commuting or after they get home.

The society said poor posture in these environments could lead to back and neck pain.

Unions said people needed to learn to switch off their devices.

An online survey, of 2,010 office workers by the Society found that nearly two-thirds of those questioned continued working outside office hours.

The organisation said people were topping up their working day with more than two hours of extra screen – time, on average, every day.

The data suggested that having too much work and easing pressure during the day were the two main reasons for the extra workload. Continue reading Smartphone users ‘risking health’ with overuse of devices

Alexander Technique helps with Posture


The term “ergonomics” is derived from two Greek words: “ergon,” meaning work, and “nomoi,” meaning natural laws. Ergonomists study human capabilities in relationship to work demands.


In recent years, ergonomists have attempted to define postures which minimise unnecessary static work and reduce the forces acting on the body. All of us could significantly reduce our risk of injury if we could adhere to the following ergonomic principles:

  • All work activities should permit the worker to adopt several different, but equally healthy and safe postures.
  • Where muscular force has to be exerted it should be done by the largest appropriate muscle groups available.
  • Work activities should be performed with the joints at about mid-point of their range of movement. This applies particularly to the head, trunk, and upper limbs.
  • Continue reading Alexander Technique helps with Posture

Repetitive Strain Injury – RSI

What is RSI?

RSI (or occupational overuse syndrome, work-related upper limb injury or isometric contraction myopathy) is caused by repeated overuse and injury to the muscles of the hands, wrists, arms or shoulders.

For example, constant movement of the fingers by a typist or musician causes stress on the tissues at a microscopic level. This triggers molecular changes such as the release of chemicals which attempt to limit or repair any damage. But sometimes this ability of the body to protect itself is outstripped by prolonged repetitive movement, and injury to the tissues – RSI – becomes established. Continue reading Repetitive Strain Injury – RSI

Imitation UGG Boots ‘Can cause Damage’ to the Body

Experts say that wearing cheap versions of UGG-style boots could cause serious health problems later on in life.

Dr Ian Drysdale is principal of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine and is warning the soft boots don’t give feet any support and can cause long term damage to ankles, knees, hips and back.

Official UGG boots cost from around £150 but much cheaper versions are available on the high street and from markets.

UGG Australia says its boots are “made with the finest materials and designed with the utmost care and attention to detail” including “structured heel counters” for “substantial support”. The company is urging people to beware of copies.