The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

November 28, 2006

Are you a candidate for Blogger's Back?

Canadian and Scottish health researchers with nothing else to do have discovered the latest craze to help whiny Web Wackos avoid a condition I am calling Blogger's Back.
Basically, it amounts to doing this while you're keyboarding...

Essentially, need to take up meditative Yoga or become a professional contortionist.

And, contrary to the long-held belief by your mother and other such medical experts, the old "sit up straight at 90 degrees or you'll become the Hunchback of Notre Dame" warning is not valid.

No, what these back specialists are recommending now is that while blogging (or while doing anything else that requires sitting), that your back actually be at 135 degrees, which I believe could tear some of my stomach muscles.

This is of particular interest to me (and probably only to me) because among my many surgeries, I have had a disc removed from my lower back, a sports injury that was the result of another sports injury.

I became familiar with such terms as lordosis (the kind of curve you have in your back) and other fancy names I can't remember. So I can vouch that you shouldn't slouch.

Here's an edited version of today's story...

By using a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Scottish and Canadian researchers have been able to show that sitting in an upright position places unnecessary strain on the back.

Sitting in this posture for hours at a time can lead to chronic back pain, say the researchers.

Lead author Dr. Waseem Amir Bashir, of the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada, says "sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness".

The researchers say the best position in which to sit at your desk is leaning slightly back, at about 135 degrees, as opposed to a 90-degree posture, which most people consider normal.

Back pain is the most common cause of work-related disability in much of the developed world and is a leading cause of job-related absenteeism.

Dr. Bashir says man was not created to sit down for long hours, but somehow modern life requires the vast majority of the global population to do so and the search for the best sitting position was all the more important. (Hello, Blogworld!!!)

The patients were asked to adopt three different sitting positions: a slouching position, in which the body is hunched forward (e.g., hunched over a desk or slouched over in front of a video game console); an upright 90-degree sitting position; and a "relaxed" position where the patient reclines backward 135 degrees while the feet remain on the floor.

Measurements were taken of spinal angles and spinal disc height and movement across the different positions. Spinal disc movement occurs when weight-bearing strain is placed on the spine, causing the internal disk material to misalign.

The team saw that disc movement was most pronounced with a 90-degree upright sitting posture and was least pronounced with the 135-degree posture. The "slouch" position revealed a reduction in spinal disc height, signifying a high rate of wear and tear.

They advise patients to ward off future back problems by correcting their sitting posture and finding a chair that allows them to sit in an optimal position of 135 degrees.

And here, if only to wake you up with visual images, are a bunch of left-over neat illustrations I pulled off the Web...


  1. Ladies: Please be informed that this is nothing but a cheap ploy on WW's part to solicit back rubs. Blogger's Back my arse.

  2. LORDosis!
    Maybe that's how they do it Scotland but according to Ergonomics Australia..

    STEP 1: Your Chair
    Adjust the back of the chair to a 100°-180° reclined angle. Make sure your left and right nadgers are supported.
    Use inflatable dolls or small pillows if necessary.
    If you have an active bank account, use it to make frequent withdrawals.
    Adjust the armrests (if fitted) so that your beer is within reach.
    If the arresting officers are in the waiting room, take the rest of the day off.

  3. As I do yoga regularly, I shouldn't have blogger's back even if I slouch which I don't.

  4. you need to get out more

  5. I just get up every now n then and dance. yeah thats just crazy me. :)


  6. 135 degree angle?? Really?? But that doesn't look very comfortable.

  7. Hell, I'm just plain confused with all those angles :).Keshi's idea sounds good ;). My back is apparently 30% out of whack as it is, so why not just let it go and aim for 100% and let it be perfectly out of whack.

  8. I'm one of those who sits up straight, even when driving. I get in all kinds of weird crosslegged positions while sitting in my chair. And no comfy fluff chair for me, nope, has to be a kitchen chair, to help with my posture. I am also one of those folks when you meet I am extremely cordial and polite. (can you believe that!?)Until you get to know me.

  9. MJ:

    Yeah, so?

    OK, EmJay, you see right through me.

    Actually, I think I need a brain rub more than a back rub with the way I've been posting lately...

    Homer Esplanada:

    I had been using my inflatable dolls to support my nadgers, but maybe this is a better idea.

    You are the only person who can really understand what you said.


    Maybe you'll get another kind of back ailment from doing yoga regularly.

    Don't you EVER slouch? Just a little bit?


    I entirely agree. I've now registered for yoga classes three times a week.


    I can imagine that yes, that's exactly what you do. You should do a YouTube vid and show us.


    I agree. You'll note the researchers didn't say anything about it being comfortable.

    Like most things that are supposedly healthy for you, it's completely uncomfortable and no fun.


    No, you do not want to let it come to that. There's a condition called sciatica (I THINK I've got the spelling right, it's pronounced Sigh-ATT-i-kah) where the disc pinches your sciatic nerve heading down your back and into your foot on either or both sides.

    Believe me, you don't want to feel that.


    Well then you could have your own home fitness/posture show, demonstrating to the world how to have perfect posture!

    And with that winning cordiality and hubba hubba bubba, you'd be a North American star in no time.

  10. WWWIII -I experienced that at one stage(a long time ago during pregnancy, they told me that the baby was sitting on the sciatic nerve) -the nastiest thing-you'd go to take a step and oh dear...

  11. Just realised that I gave you 3 Ws. Hope you won't be all belligerent now.

  12. Lee:

    When am I ever belligerent? Just call me Within Without Whatever...

  13. LOL no ways!


  14. Keshi:

    Why not? I believe you would have an exceptionally captive audience......

  15. cool- so i can tell my boss i have to have a reclining chair!

  16. Well if you really want to know..a tiny bit...once in a while!

    BTW, I couldn't do yoga for three months starting my elbow dislocation. Even now I have to take it slow.

  17. Angel:

    Yes, and he has to pay for it.


    Good to hear you least once in a while.

    The closest I come to doing yoga is watching the cartoon Yogi Bear on TV...

  18. This post made me sit up in my chair.


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