|Massage Therapy - The Benefits of MT||There are tremendous benefits to be achieved through regular massage therapy treatments from a Registered Massage Therapist.|
The typical 9 to 5 office job involves a lot of sitting. Sure, everyone’s heard of standing or walking desks, but most people don’t have them. Even if you want to get up and walk around, or stretch throughout the day, sometimes your work schedule doesn’t allow it or sometimes you forget. But how bad is sitting all day for you really? It may not necessarily be “the new smoking” as some have claimed, but it’s also not the best for your health, at least short-term. The risks and consequences of sitting are, for the most part, fairly immediate and directly related to your musculoskeletal health .
Sitting can be a major pain in the neck – and a pain in many other parts of the body. Sitting for more than 95% of your day at work has been found to be a risk factor in developing neck pain and it can also be a significant factor in fatigue and lower back discomfort . When you attempt to reduce sitting time in the office, it can have a major impact on musculoskeletal discomfort. In fact, a reduction in musculoskeletal pain in the neck and shoulders was found after a concentrated campaign to reduce sitting time among office workers .
Musculoskeletal pain is common – 63% of office workers report experiencing it, with the most common locations being the neck, upper back and lower back . The prevalence of low back pain in occupations that require workers to sit for the majority of the working day is significantly higher than the prevalence in the general population . It’s not just sitting too much at work that can contribute to low back pain. When focusing on an individual’s total sitting time – both sitting at work and sitting during leisure time (e.g. when watching TV), it was found that there is a strong relationship between total sitting time and low back pain intensity . This includes other types of workers including manual labourers, who may not sit a lot during their jobs but may sit a lot during their leisure time. It was found that sitting during leisure time actually has more of a detrimental effect on low back pain than workplace sitting.
Adjustments to the height or positioning of your chair, computer monitor or other elements of your workstation have also been found to decrease work related musculoskeletal pain . Introducing short bouts of physical activity throughout the day has also shown to improve the overall wellbeing of office workers .
If you’re already experiencing musculoskeletal pain associated with sitting too much, massage therapy can help. Regular on-site massage in an office environment has been found to be an effective treatment for decreasing the duration of musculoskeletal ache, pain or discomfort, and for increasing range of motion . Massage therapy can also have an immediate positive effect on neck and shoulder pain , and can also be an effective treatment for chronic low back pain . In a recent study, individuals with back pain who received massage therapy had less pain and were better able to perform daily activities than those who only received usual medical care, without massage .
A Registered Massage Therapist can offer suggestions for exercises and other forms of self-care that will help you to take an active role in your health care and will be beneficial for reducing your musculoskeletal pain. Registered Massage Therapists can also provide suggestions for modified working ergonomics to help reduce discomfort and strain.
An office job doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck. There are many ways you can prevent or treat the aches and pains associated with sitting at a desk all day. Ask your RMT how they can help.
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The RMTAO exists in order to advance the massage therapy profession in Ontario. Improvements in the ability of Registered Massage Therapists to provide quality care will improve the health of the people of Ontario whom the profession serves.
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