NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Health experts have taken to calling sitting “the new smoking,” at least when it comes to your heart health.

CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports that sitting can be just as bad for your neck, back, and shoulders too.

Do you spend a lot of time sitting?

That’s part of the problem, too much sitting. There’s also the wrong type of sitting. That’s just the way the modern workplace has evolved.

So physical therapists have developed advice and treatments for those sitting pains.

Whether you’re an accountant, a journalist, or a stay at home parent, chances are you spend hours and hours sitting, usually in front of a computer.

“Hours… ten hours easily at the computer… at the laptop,” pain patient H.J. Kim said.

Kim’s problem was both how long she was sitting at the computer as well as how she was sitting – poor posture.

(Credit: CBS2)

“Sitting in any prolonged position is not the best for your health overall. It can cause a lot of aches and pains in your muscles, and in your joints,” Karena Wu of Active Care Physical Therapy explained.

“Then it can limit your motions so it can cause a lot of joint and muscle dysfunction.”

Wu says years of bad sitting can take a lot of physical therapy to correct. That’s what Kim is going through and, as with most medical conditions, prevention is much better than correction.

“One of the best things to do is to take breaks so set reminders on your phone or your computer and get up and do a little walk around,” Wu advises.

“It is one of the best things to do because it keeps you moving and your body was meant to move.”

In addition to physical therapy, Kim is learning proper posture and ergonomics so that she won’t undo the benefits of her physical therapy.

“Remember to correct your posture in sitting. So correcting your posture is actually positioning your joints so that you end up with better alignment for your spinal column and then turning on the muscles that actually support the spine,” Wu added.

While Kim isn’t completely healed, she says she feels a world better than she did a few months ago.

“I am in a much better place. Also, I’m better informed. I can catch myself when I actually feel myself doing this,” the patient added.

Sitting is just part of the modern workplace.

Here’s your reminder: as soon as the commercial comes on in a minute, get up and walk around.

Studies have shown that helps both your heart and your pain. Then look up ways to make your work station a little more orthopedically friendly.


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