024 Harmful Effects of Sitting on Your Body

Duration: 00:14:25
Our conversation today is with Shaheen Siddiqui. She has been a physical therapist for 17 years. In the past, she worked in typical outpatient physical therapy clinics, where she was seeing 4 people every hour.  But, she always felt there had to be a better way – because she always felt so rushed with each patient.  She took a leap of faith and opened her practice 4 years ago Crossroads Orthopedic Physical Therapy – in Chandler, Arizona.  She works with adults and athletes to help them get back to doing what they love – pain free!  The wonderful things is that she is now able to work with one patient per hour, and this allows her to truly provide better quality care for each patient …helping them get back to a pain free life. She lives in Chandler, AZ with her husband and 4 kids. They love to travel, explore, and stay active!
We talk about the harmful effects of sitting for prolonged periods on the body. People often find themselves sitting for prolonged periods of time attending meetings online, working or attending classes.  This topic is very important because of our modern day lifestyle, which encourages people to be in front of screens for prolonged periods. 
Episode Highlights with with Shaheen Siddiqui, MSPT: 
  • The negative effect of prolonged sitting on your joints
  • How to avoid aches and pains associated with prolonged sitting
  • Exercise demonstrations to relieve back pain
To implement what you learn, join our Wellness Surge Family here: https://bit.ly/3hYbFvy.
Connect with Shaheen Siddiqui, MSPT on Facebook and Instagram @crossroadsopt or her website www.crossroadsopt.com

Show Transcript

Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Wellness Surge Podcast with Dr. Adeola Oke. Each week we discuss our wellness journey with real people like you and me. We have conversations about food, fitness, mental health, financial wellness, and much more so you can get back to the real you. To make sure that you’re up to date with this and other wellness topics, visit wellness, surge.com. Information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of the information presented here without first speaking with your primary care provider. Now let’s head on to the show.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:00:36] Hello, everybody. Welcome to the wellness Surge podcast. My name is Dr. Adeola Oe, and today I have with me Shaheen Siddiqui and we are going to be talking about ‘The Harmful Effects of Sitting on your Body’. Say hello to everybody.

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:00:51] Hey everybody. Thank you so much for having me. i I am excited to be here.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:00:56] The pleasure is all ours,right? Mrs. Shaheen Siddiqui has been a physical therapist for about 17 years. In the past, she worked in typical outpatient physical therapy clinics, where she was seeing four people every hour. But she always felt that there had to be a better way, because she felt so rushed with each patient, right? She took a leap of faith and opened her practice four years ago at Crossroads Orthopedic Physical Therapy, in Chandler, Arizona. She works with adults and athletes to help them get back to doing what they love most and doing that, pain-free. The wonderful thing is that she’s now able to work with one patient every hour. That is GOLD. That is so impressive.

And this allows her to truly provide better quality care for each patient-helping them to get back to  pain free life. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband and her four kids. They love to travel, explore, and stay active. Alrighty, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being on here. So-

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:01:59] Thank you. .

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:02:00] Yeah! So I have heard the term that sitting is the new smoking. What does that mean?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:02:06] Yeah. So that’s definitely a phrase that’s been more popular in the past a few years, I would say. And it’s basically referring to the fact that, um, people that sit more are more prone to diseases like heart disease, diabetes, things of that nature. Because, prolonged sitting and lack of activity can lead to these issues long term. However, in my opinion, we cannot equate the two.

So sitting is not the new smoking. Yeah. You can’t compare the two. Research has shown that smoking has more detrimental effects to our health for sure, but I think because it’s such a catchy phrase, it just caught on and  it’s all over the media.  I just wanted to clarify that. But yeah,  there are definitely effects that sitting can have on the body. And with the advent computers and things like that, people are sitting more and just becoming overall more sedentary in our lives.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:03:10] So, you kind of alluded to like some things that sitting can do to the body. Can you like,  like just some little system based-so like, okay.

You are sitting so long, this happens to your head, this happens to your heart. Just the little, little snippets so we can get a full picture, you know.

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:03:25] For sure, yeah. Sitting and, um, the lack of activity, definitely can have an impact on the heart because you’re not getting enough circulation. So if you don’t incorporate  enough activity throughout the day, it’ll definitely, um, affect the heart. The other thing is musculoskeletal issues. So, you know, starting from the neck on down, you can get neck pain, headaches, back pain-

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:03:53] Headaches?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:03:53] The reason for this is because when we’re sitting, it’s actually- your spine is becoming more compressed. So it’s putting more compression on the discs in our spine. Um, the discs are there to provide, um, shock absorption. And when we’re sitting for hours on end those disks, aren’t getting enough activity, you know, fluid when we’re not moving.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:04:19] So like circulation? So they are not getting a lot of circulation. Ohhhh.

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:04:23] The sitting position puts more compression on those discs. So when they’re compressed and for long periods, it can lead to back pain because of bulging disks or, you know, degeneration of your discs as well. So, but there are things that we can do to prevent issues from happening.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:04:44] Okay, for sure.

So what I’m getting is this, if you’re sitting for so long, so talking about your skeleton, the sitting  compresses the discs, right? In your spine. And that can lead to bulging discs and the degeneration comes with age, right?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:05:00] Yes. That’s age related for sure.

But if we are just sitting so much throughout, um, you know, several hours, and months, and years, and not getting enough activity or not getting into the reverse position, which is standing- this can definitely lead to issues down the road. So, yeah.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:05:24] Okay. So how can we avoid this? There are some pains associated with sitting, right?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:05:30] Yes. Right.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:05:31] Could we do that?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:05:32] So, so a few things we can do. Basically, if your work is requiring you to sit a lot and be on the computer all day, the first thing is to have a look at your postural or your work set up. So you want to make sure that your computer is set up at a good angle. The first thing is we want to make sure your screen is at eye level.

There’s a lot of things we can do ergonomically to, to help. And then the other thing is making sure you’re not hunched too far forward. Because this can place pressure on the chest muscles and become- increase tightness there. And then also, as you’re leaning, you know, with gravity, we kind of like a hunch forward.

It’s a natural thing we do. So as that happens, that puts a strain on your neck muscles as well. And this also can lead to neck pain. So to prevent that, looking at your work setup is key. Um, making sure you’re also sitting and your arms are at about a 90 degree angle. You know, that’s a good place to start.

And then from there, once you kind of have a work set up, figured out, you can, you can look at a standing desk. That’s a good option because that allows you to take a break every so often get up.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:06:48] I love mine.

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:06:50] Yeah. You have one?

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:06:51] I do. I have had it for couple of years now.

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:06:54] Yeah. Yeah. It’s a great tool. And if you don’t have one, you can just go to your kitchen counter or something like that, if you’re working from home. You know, just stand up. Um, that’s the main thing. Um, the other thing is having a little bit of support behind your back. So I actually highly recommend like a lumbar pillow like this. And you would place it in the- I don’t know if you can see here- you can place it like right  beneath your shoulder blades.

And that just gives you a little bit of a reminder to sit up nice and tall and it gives you support for your back- and it feels good. So even if you don’t, they don’t have that. You can have a roll up a towel or just a small pillow behind your back, and that can definitely prevent too much back pain.

The other thing is, um, setting a timer on your phone to stand up every hour and do a postural reset. So we’ll get into a couple of examples of what you can do. But postural reset means just to remind yourself, to sit up nice and tall. And when you stand up, that’s automatically going to happen. You know, you’ll.

You’ll have kind of a reminder for yourself. So, so yeah, those are, those are a few things we can do to prevent. Um, and I think the, honestly the main thing is to just change up your position every hour. Whether it’s sitting, standing, sitting in a different position. It doesn’t really matter because we can’t be in a perfect posture all the time.

That’s not practical because we’re creatures of movement. You know, we need that movement in our, um, in our daily life.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:08:36] Very good. That’s really good. I’ve never- you know, you see all these things here and they’re like,’What? These people use them?’

Because you don’t know. Right.

So it’s good to be educated.

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:08:46] Yeah. Yeah.I know. It’s, it’s good. And all these little tools can help and um, it’s just a matter of, I think, reminding ourselves to do it and then it becomes habit. So, yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:09:00] Alrighty. So here’s the fun part. So can you share one or two exercises with us that can help releive back pain from sitting too long?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:09:07] Yes, absolutely. So, um, I’m going to move my little pillow. I will stand up. So  I’m going to show you the ones in standing. So what we’ll do is- so just standing and, um, you’ll place your hands on your hips. Then you’re just going to extend backward. So, so you’re here and then you’re just going back and forth like that.

So then what this does, is it actually, um, reverses that compression on those discs. So when we’re going backward, it’s relieving that pressure. So that’s why it’s, it’s a really good, um, as long as you don’t have pain with that of course. And then that’s one- and then the other one would be, um, like a hip flexor stretch.

So  you’ll place one leg behind the other. And then you’re just going to kind of lean slightly backwards. So you’ll get a nice stretch through here, which is your hip flexor in the front of your hips. And those become, um, tight when we’re sitting all day as well.

Um, Because your hips are flexed in that, you know, 90 degree position or so. And those muscles can become tight and that can actually contribute to back pain. So yeah.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:10:34] True, true,true.

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:10:35] Well, those are, those are a couple of simple moves that you can do. I could give you a ton, but-

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:10:40] They will have to come and see you then.

Alrighy. You know, we human beings. If you bombard us with so much, we wouldn’t take any action. Right. So I usually like to break things down to one thing, right?

One thing. I’ve talked about this for a couple of minutes, you know, it’s not the most interesting topic to everybody, so they may listen in and out, but-

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:11:05] Yeah.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:11:05] What is the golden nugget?

What is the one thing that you want to make sure that people take away from today’s talk if they don’t even get anything at all, right?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:11:13] Yeah. So I would say just remember movement is medicine. So basically you want to make sure you incorporate some movement throughout the day, take a break, set that timer on your phone or whatever it is, but stand up, move around and incorporate some movement.

And if you have aches and pains, don’t be afraid to move. Because that’s always something that people, when we have pain, we tend to seize up and not move. However, it’s actually the opposite is what is needed. So, yeah, don’t be afraid to move and gentle movements. Of course. So, so I’d say the golden nugget is movement is medicine.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:11:54] Alright, cool. Good, good again. Alrighty. Alrighty. So this was really good. Thank you for those exercises and how can people get ahold of you after the show?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:12:05] Yeah, sure. So Instagram @crossroadsopt. And then I’m on Facebook as well. They can DM or message me from there. That’s fine. And then of course, phone and email, all of those are good.

I have a website as well. It’s crossroadsopt.com. Um, and you can go in there and, um, I offer like a free discovery visit. So and rightnow, I’m doing- I’ve started offering telehealth as well. So.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:12:34] I saw that! I saw that! You know, so people from everywhere can consult with you. Or it just the United States?

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:12:41] Well, so for physical therapy purposes, only in Arizona. Because I’m only licensed in Arizona. However , if people are interested in more of a wellness program, which I also provide that. Meaning- you know, helping them with an exercise program. I can also offer that and that can be anywhere around the world.

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:13:02] Awesome! Awesome!Who knows. Right? Who knows.

You got to dream big. Alrighty. Thank you so much, ma’am, for being on here today. It was a pleasure. I’ve learned a few things, some exercises, movements, and stuff like that.

So thank you so much for being on here. So guys! I hope you learned a few things to . If you like this, make sure you turn on your notifications and subscribe to this channel We’ll see you in the next show.

Bye bye. Have a good week y’all .

Shaheen Siddiqui: [00:13:31] Bye bye. Thank you so much

Dr. Adeola Oke: [00:13:33] thanks.

Ending: [00:13:34] Thank you for listening and sharing your precious time with us. If you enjoy the show, then follow us and subscribe on iTunes, YouTube, or any app that carries podcasts. Have an awesome week. Best wishes to see you thrive.