Back care in a world sitting

What are the risks of sitting too much?

Answers from James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D.

Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

One study compared adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of the TV or other screen-based entertainment with those who logged more than four hours a day of recreational screen time. Those with greater screen time had:

  • A nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause
  • About a 125 percent increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack

The increased risk was separate from other traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking or high blood pressure.

Sitting in front of the TV isn't the only concern. Any extended sitting — such as behind a desk at work or behind the wheel — can be harmful. What's more, spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in moderate or vigorous activity doesn't seem to significantly offset the risk.

The solution seems to be less sitting and more moving overall. You might start by simply standing rather than sitting whenever you have the chance or think about ways to walk while you work. For example:

  • Stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch.
  • If you work at a desk for long periods of time, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.
  • Walk laps with your colleagues rather than gathering in a conference room for meetings.
  • Position your work surface above a treadmill — with a computer screen and keyboard on a stand or a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk — so that you can be in motion throughout the day.

The impact of movement — even leisurely movement — can be profound. For starters, you'll burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy. Even better, the muscle activity needed for standing and other movement seems to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. When you sit, these processes stall — and your health risks increase. When you're standing or actively moving, you kick the processes back into action.

How MC Hammer Reinvented Ankle Injuries

Stanley Kirk Burrell (born March 30, 1962), known professionally as M.C. Hammer (or simply Hammer), is an American hip-hop recording artist, dancer, entrepreneur, spokesman and actor. He had his greatest commercial success and popularity from the late 1980s until the late 1990s. Remembered for his rapid rise to fame, Hammer is known for hit records (such as "U Can't Touch This" and "2 Legit 2 Quit"), flashy dance movements, choreography and eponymous Hammer pants. Hammer's superstar-status and entertaining showmanship made him a household name and hip hop icon.[1] He has sold more than 50 million records worldwide.[2]

A multi-award winner, M.C. Hammer is considered a "forefather/pioneer" and innovator[3] of pop rap (incorporating elements of freestyle music), and is the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album.[4][5][6][7] Hammer was later considered a sellout due in part to overexposure as an entertainer (having live instrumentation/bands, choreographed dance routines and an impact on popular culture being regularly referenced on television and in music)[8] and as a result of being too "commercial" when rap was "hardcore" at one point, then his image later becoming increasingly "gritty" to once again adapt to the ever-changing landscape of rap.[9][10] Regardless, BET ranked Hammer as the #7 "Best Dancer Of All Time".[11] Vibe's "The Best Rapper Ever Tournament" declared him the 17th favorite of all-time during the first round.[12]

Burrell became a preacher during the late 1990s with a Christian ministry program on TBN called M.C. Hammer and Friends. Additionally, he starred in a Saturday morning cartoon called Hammerman in 1991 and was executive producer of his own reality show called Hammertime which aired on the A&E Network during the summer of 2009.[13][14] Hammer was also a television show host and dance judge on Dance Fever in 2003, was co-creator of a dance website called DanceJam.com,[15][16] and is a record label CEO while still performing concerts at music venues and assisting with other social media, ministry and outreachfunctions. Prior to becoming ordained, Hammer signed with Suge Knight's Death Row Records by 1995.

My Back, My Back

The central feature of the human back is the vertebral column, specifically the length from the top of the thoracic vertebrae to the bottom of the lumbar vertebrae, which houses the spinal cord in its spinal canal, and which generally has some curvature that gives shape to the back. The ribcage extends from the spine at the top of the back (with the top of the ribcage corresponding to the T1 vertebra), more than halfway down the length of the back, leaving an area with less protection between the bottom of the ribcage and the hips. The width of the back at the top is defined by the scapula, the broad, flat bones of the shoulders.

Muscles[edit]

The spine is bordered by several groups of muscles, including the intertransversarii muscle which facilitate movement between the individual vertebrae, and the multifidus spinae, which facilitate the movement of the spine as a whole.

Other muscles in the back are associated with the movement of the neck and shoulders. The trapezius muscle, which is named from its trapezium-like shape, runs between the neck, the anterior chain, the two shoulders, and the thoracic vertebra, T12. The large latissimus dorsi make a triangle from the shoulder to the hip.

Organs of the back[edit]

The lungs are within the ribcage, and extend to the back of the ribcage making it possible for them to be listened into through the back. The kidneys are situated beneath the muscles in the area below the end of the ribcage, loosely connected to the peritoneum. A strike to the lower back can damage the kidneys of the person being hit.

Surface of the back[edit]

The skin of the human back is thicker and has fewer nerve endings than the skin on any other part of the torso. With some notable exceptions (see, e.g. George "The Animal" Steele), it tends to have less hair than the chest on men. The upper-middle back is also the one area of the body which a typical human under normal conditions might be unable to physically touch.

 

Distribution of cutaneous nerves, dorsal aspect. Dorsal and lateral cutaneous branches labeled at center right.

The skin of the back is innervated by the dorsal cutaneous branches, as well as the lateral abdominal cutaneous branches of intercostal nerves.

Movement[edit]

The intricate anatomy of the back provides support for the head and trunk of the body, strength in the trunk of the body, as well as a great deal of flexibility and movement. The upper back has the most structural support, with the ribs attached firmly to each level of the thoracic spine and very limited movement. The lower back (lumbar vertebrae) allows for flexibility and movement in back bending (extension) and forward bending (flexion). It does not permit twisting.