By Jamie Gamache
The answer is very dependent on what you do for work. Every job involves movement of some kind, whether it’s typing or swinging a sledge hammer. This movement is often repetitive and occurs for years on end. The body is not designed to do anything repeatedly for long periods of time. When this occurs, it causes an imbalance in strength or flexibility. First there is pain, and eventually there will be injury.
This pain can be alleviated with therapeutic or pre-habilitative exercise. Poor posture at work can cause weak core muscles. “Core” is not “abs”, which is an association most people make. Core musculature includes: Abs, obliques, hip flexors, hip stabilizers and shoulder stabilizers, as well as deeply seated muscles that lock the body in position. Weakness in any of these muscles will cause overuse of others. That overuse will occur till those muscles give out. This is the root cause of the most common forms of back pain, not dysfunction of the back, but weakness in other parts of the body.
The same can occur if the hips are too tight. The body is designed in stacks, the ankles are mobile, the knees stable, the hips mobile, the low back stable, etc. If mobility is lost at a mobile joint, it attempts to go to a stable one. This means that knee or low back pain or injury are caused by dysfunction of the hips, not the joint where it is felt.
What this all boils down to is time lost. Pain is a distraction and it takes away from the focus one needs to perform their job. It means time out of work with back spasms and physical therapy visits. Or, one can learn a few methods of exercise to alleviate the pain, create more energy and generally improve well-being and productivity.