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Neck, back aches: Expert advises Nigerians to maintain upright posture



Neck, back aches: Expert advises Nigerians to maintain upright posture
By Esenvosa Izah
Lagos, Feb. 21, 2019 A Consultant Physiotherapist, Mr Vincent Soetan, has Nigerians to sit upright during long hours in traffic to avoid neck and back pains.
Soetan, who is with the Physiocraft Allied Health Services, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos that the advice was necessary considering the long hours Lagos residents spent in traffic.
He advised that when people had to spend long hours in traffic, they should endeavour to always maintain an upright posture, and not to slouch.
“Many Nigerians spend about six hours of their day in traffic daily; these have effect on the body; it leads to reduced physical activity which also reduces productivity at work.
“When you sit upright, instead of stressing the muscles more, you are actually trying to get them upright, and because you are in the right position, you are retraining them.
“People should try and stretch their backs, once or twice when they are out of traffic to relax them and reduce the chances of pain,’’ he said.
The physiotherapist said that sitting for too long, especially in traffic situation, could lead to complications including nerve entrapment, back and neck pain.
“The situation is in two phases: The driver of the vehicle, either public transport or private cars, is stressing the muscles of the neck, when he drives for prolonged hours.
“He is unable to rest the neck, exercise and allow them breathe; after a while, if he continues, these muscles will begin to go numb, weak, and when that happens, it begins to give signals of pains.
“For passengers in public transport, they are at higher risk as the seats do not have adequate neck and back rest.
“Many people experience pains on their backs and necks, but are unaware and pay less attention as they do not link sitting down for long periods to the pains they are experiencing,’’ the expert said.
Soetan said further that research showed that staying in traffic for long periods or driving for long could also increase one’s blood sugar levels, coupled with the junks that accompany it.
“People tend to take carbonated drinks and junks when in traffic and they are not burning these junks through exercise; it keeps accumulating and in the long run reduces their productivity level,’’ he said.
“When you are in traffic, try to maintain an upright position and do not put your phones on your lap, but to the level of your head to operate it,’’ he further counselled.
The physiotherapist added that spending hours in traffic could also be linked to obesity, high blood pressure, physical and mental stress, increased anxiety, leading to cardiovascular diseases.
Editing by Oluyinka Fadare/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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