Sitting is the new smoking

You may have heard the phrase “Sitting is the new smoking”, along with “Movement is Medicine” or “Motion is Lotion”. It’s becoming more and more clear that the sedentary behavior that has become so ingrained in modern society isn’t good for us. A big part of what we do is help our clients find ways to spend less time sitting stationary to allow for faster recovery from injury or surgery.

We have known for a long time that gentle movement and physical activity is helpful for conditions like back pain and osteoarthritis. However, research has also shown that independent of physical activity, sedentary behavior has been associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers (1). This means that going to the gym doesn’t fully negate the effects of sitting at your desk all day. See if you can add some incidental activity into your workday; maybe you could pace the corridor whilst on the phone or do 5 squats every time you go to the printer.

A question that we are commonly asked is “what is the perfect posture?” The short answer is there is none.

A question we commonly hear is, “what’s the perfect posture”. The short answer is that there is none. Ultimately, our bodies are designed to move. The most expensive and individualised ergonomic chairs and desks won’t stop you from feeling uncomfortable if you stay in the same position for hours at a time. Pain and discomfort is often a result of the subconscious brain reminding you to stretch your muscles and lubricate your joints. Try thinking about pain as a helpful reminder that your body needs to do something different.

If you have an office job or drive long distances, try this stretch to break up periods of sitting.

  1. de Rezende, L. F. M., Lopes, M. R., Rey-López, J. P., Matsudo, V. K. R., & do Carmo Luiz, O. (2014). Sedentary behavior and health outcomes: an overview of systematic reviews. PloS one9(8), e105620.

Hydrotherapy for MS: Debunking the Heat Sensitivity Barrier

The hydrotherapy pool has proven itself to be a great environment for improving fitness, increasing muscle strength, improved mobility and walking, reducing fatigue, improved well-being and quality of life for people suffering from multiple sclerosis.

What is heat sensitivity in MS?

Increased body temperature for a multiple sclerosis sufferer leads to slowing of nerve conduction and therefore an increased fatigue, weakness and temporary worsening of old or onset of new symptoms; usually resolving within 24 hours.

Will the warm pool contribute to heat sensitivity?

A common misconception amongst MS patients is that a hydrotherapy pool will be detrimental to their function as a result of heat sensitivity. However, water is a better conductor of heat than air, so heat can quickly be carried away for improved temperature regulation during more intense exercise in the pool- more so than on land. Studies have shown no adverse effects for people with MS in pools with a temperature of 25-35°c.

Tips for Managing Heat Sensitivity

  • Exercise in a well-ventilated pool with a temperature of 25-35 degrees
  • Stay well hydrated
  • All exercise requires an adaptation period, so take regular short rest breaks
  • Everyone’s body is different: Try exercising in a few different pools/ different temperatures within the prescribed range and find which one suits your body best.

What do I do if my symptoms get worse following exercise in the pool?

If symptoms are worse for any more than 2 hours after a pool session, then the session is likely too challenging. Speak to your Neurological physiotherapist about how to modify your program.

Some comorbidities can affect your safety in the water, so make sure to discuss an appropriate hydrotherapy plan with us before commencing.