The Phoenix

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Do the Roc-a-way. Now Lean Back, Lean Back

In high school, I was constantly scolded by my teachers to stop leaning back in my chair. They said I would fall backwards and slam my head agains the floor. I never fell, but I found those molded plastic chairs so damn uncomfortable. "Sit up straight!" I was told.

Recent research has discovered that my teachers were wrong, and I was right. So there, Mrs. Cooper!

A study was detailed this week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) that showed sitting up straight in the 90 degree position was actually terrible for your back.

Utilizing a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), scientists studied 22 volunteers with no history of any back problems . The subjects assumed three different positions: slouching forward; sitting up straight at 90 degrees; and sitting back with a 135-degree posture—all while their spines were scanned.

"A 135-degree body-thigh sitting posture was demonstrated to be the best biomechanical sitting position, as opposed to a 90-degree posture, which most people consider normal," said study author, Waseem Amir Bashir, a researcher at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada.

Back pain is the most common cause of work-related disability in the United States, and a leading contributor to job-related absenteeism, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Back related problems cost Americans $50 billion annually. So it seems those with ram-rod straight sitting postures are actually putting lots of stress on their spines and related ligaments.

"We were not created to sit down for long hours, but somehow modern life requires the vast majority of the global population to work in a seated position," Dr. Bashir said. "This made our search for the optimal sitting position all the more important."

So what are employees and students who spend so much time sitting to do?

"We have to do something that is similar to the lying position," Bashir reported. Lying down in a relaxed position with your knees slightly bent is the best position that a person can be in, because it doesn't cause any stress on the ligaments, the thigh muscles as well as on the back.

Judging from the researcher's findings, Paris Hilton has the healthiest back in the world.


Blogger mad said...

Yeah, teachers were wrong about marijuana too!

11/30/2006 11:43 AM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

I heard that too---sitting up straight may cause later back problems.
I've never learned to sit up straight. It always bothered me to sit like that. Maybe that's why my back is okay!!
I echo your sentiment. I think our teachers were wrong about many things.

11/30/2006 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha Mad - Yeah Paris Hilton you KNOW has the best back in the world, and I guess now myself since I constantly sit with my chair tilted or a chair that is able to tilt back, I always sit in it tilted. :-)

Teachers pshhhh - what do they know? ;-)

11/30/2006 12:13 PM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

That God you didn't use one of those "crotch shots" of Paris!


11/30/2006 12:24 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

So, basically, what your saying is we all need to take a few lessons from Paris Hilton??? LOL!!! :D

11/30/2006 2:37 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

mad, and drinking and driving too!

angel jr., Sitting up straight never felt natural.

jillian, Teacher's know a lot, but sometimes "old school" just doesn't work.

big pissy, I thought about using one of her many crotch shots, but I don't like looking at fungi.

sherri, she's always on her back with legs slightly bent. We should all be in that position more often. Our backs will thank us for it.

11/30/2006 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So when I slouch in my chair at work, ass on the edge of the seat as I nap, I'm actually helping myself. And work since I don't have to have them pay for any physio. Sweet!

I'm actually sitting that way right now. Well done me!

11/30/2006 3:53 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

yeah sure, and killing the whales is good for the ozone layer! :)

posture was not the problem that I imagined that your teachers had with you...

wpfqfmwf<-- a small village in Wales

11/30/2006 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They said I would fall backwards and slam my head agains the floor"

explains a lot ... kiddin'!! {grin}

11/30/2006 7:33 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

ok let me get some lessons from Ms.Hilton and come back all messed up then LOL!


11/30/2006 9:20 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

Yeah, but what about the 60 degree angle of all those Asians who squat all the time - they seem to be pretty healthy and long-lived. Did those labrats even consider testing a squatting posture? Noooooo.

11/30/2006 11:55 PM  
Anonymous Haas said...

I will remember this the next time someone tells me to sit straight :P

12/01/2006 2:40 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Some people I know work standing up -- with the computer keyboard on a high desk. I haven't tried that. Yet.

-- David

12/01/2006 8:16 AM  
Blogger Sar said...

How about people like me who sit with their legs under them all the time? I'm like a freakin human pretzel.

Another excellent ending, Phoenix - slamming Paris, classic.

12/01/2006 8:45 AM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

My desk can move around so that I can work from a standing position to, basically, a squatting position. I stand when I work sometimes...but now that I'm pregnant, the ONLY comfortable way to work is sitting tilted. I'm glad to know that this is healthy for my back! :-) Thanks Phoenix!!!

12/01/2006 11:06 AM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

I always wondered why when I worked from home, on the couch leaning back with my laptop in my lap, my back felt better. As compared to being at work in those stupid "ergonomic" chairs! Ergonomic my ass. Just another HR snow job.

12/01/2006 11:20 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

I hav enever been able to sit up staight. It hurts.

It was always funny when people did fall back on thier chairs in school though. They were so uncomfortable!

12/01/2006 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paris has always been an innovator in the health industry.

12/01/2006 7:09 PM  
Blogger goddess said...

hahahahaha, you dissed Haris Pilton.. I mean Paris Hilton.

I've seen kids fall backwards. Gravity attacks you more the younger you are. I tell them not to lean back on their chairs. They only sit infront of me for 45 minutes, they can leave the chair on the ground.

12/01/2006 7:29 PM  
Blogger Grafs said...

I always sit back. I always thought it made me look lazy. Now I have an excuse. Thanks Phoenix!

12/02/2006 2:51 PM  
Anonymous delmer said...

Wasn't Wesley Crusher sort of laying back as he was driving the Enterprise around in Star Trek TNG?

Maybe the crew of the TNG Enterprise went to, called up your website, read this entry and petitioned to have the chairs changed from those of the original Enterprise.

(Sorry folks, I'm not geeky enough to know the letter designations of the various Enterprises.)

12/02/2006 10:51 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Yeah take that Mrs.Cooper!

12/03/2006 2:58 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Mrs. Cooper also accused me of stealing her purse. I was sent to the office, only to come back 15 minutes later when she found her purse locked in her desk.

12/03/2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

LMAO!! Phoenix, you my friend are too funny!

12/03/2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger Phats said...

I bet this is why I have chronic back pain haha JK!

My teachers would say 4 on the floor please. I am now a teacher and we are never wrong ;) haha

12/03/2006 11:21 PM  
Blogger BrianAlt said...

That's how I sit in my chair at work normally. I go for comfort all the way.

12/04/2006 8:22 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Mrs Cooper sounds like my Mrs.Marozzi. She accused me of stealing someones necklace, then they found it. :/

12/04/2006 5:32 PM  
Blogger FLAMINGO1 said...

Could you come up with some evidence that it is even better on your back to be up on your hands and knees??? I'll share that one with my wife...

12/04/2006 10:20 PM  
Blogger DaBich said...

Give Paris Hilton the Skank Award, but give Phoenix the Better Back Health award!
(make your acceptance speech short, please, so we don't have to sit up straight for too long!)

12/05/2006 3:46 AM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

Low Riders around the world are rejoicing.

12/08/2006 8:35 PM  

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