THE THREE S’s IN COMFORT: STANDING, SITTING & SLEEPING

In a 24 hour period we are either standing, sleeping or standing and if our bodies are not supported properly while in each of these positions eventually it could lead to chronic pain. The areas that are the most affected in our bodies are the neck, back, hips, legs and feet. Regardless of which one of these three we are doing, being supported and comfortable so our body does not break down and develop physical problems is extremely important.

Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress and using the wrong pillows are contributing factors in developing neck, shoulder, upper and lower back pain. Sleeping on a hard or soft mattress or using hard or soft pillows may be a trigger to causing pain in your neck and back. Since you spend thousands of hours on a mattress in a life time if your back is not properly supported the muscles in the upper and lower back can go into spasm causing chronic pain, numbness and tingling in your extremities. If you are one of the many thousands who suffer from back pain or have had back surgery finding the right mattress to sleep on is imperative and often challenging. Proper sleeping habits should start when you are young and not take youth for granted.

Sitting is the next position that we spend a lot of time doing in our life time and if you are not sitting in supportive and comfortable seat cushions that could eventually trigger positional body problems. Sitting in uncomfortable, unsupported chairs at work or home can fatigue muscles in the low back and pelvic area and can trigger back and hip problems. This can cause disc compression in your low back resulting in muscle spasms, numbness or tingling in your lower extremities.

Often times you do not realize that how unsupported your sitting and sleeping environment is because soft is comfortable.

The last and most important of the three S’s is standing. The floor surfaces we stand on and the shoes we wear day to day can really wear you down. The environment we walk or stand on is unchangeable however the footwear we wear is. If your profession is sales, standing on concrete or tile floors at trade shows or work for 8 -10 hours a day can be very uncomfortable. Wearing footwear such as high heels, sandals or flats on these surfaces can create a tremendous amount of stress in your entire body which will especially impact the muscles in your legs, feet and low back. Those types of floor surfaces are unforgiving and will ultimately fatigue the muscles.

The combination of long hours on your feet, hard floor surfaces and uncomfortable shoes can aggravate any type of lower extremity or low back problem.

Some of the more common foot problems related to wearing high heels, sandals and flats while standing for long periods of time on concrete floors are arch pain, tired feet, plantar fasciitis, heel pain and muscle cramping.

Fixing the three S’s is obvious and easy if you experience any type of pain or discomfort from them. Buying a new mattress that is more supportive and comfortable, replacing the foam in the cushions in your sofas and chairs is less expensive than purchasing new ones.

Stretching exercises are important for you to do daily in order to prevent tight muscles in your feet, legs and low back.

The one that is the easiest to fix is footwear. Over the counter arch supports, cushioned insoles or custom orthotics will support and cushion your feet from standing for prolonged periods of time on any floor surface when wearing your work shoes. Finding arch supports for your high heels may be a challenge because of the pitch of the shoe. It is hard to find ones that can fit properly; they can be big and bulky. Look for ones that fit in the arch of the shoe and do not take up much room. Google key words such as arch support, orthotics, instant arch support, foot insoles, arch support high heels and arch support sandals for those who wear backless sandals to work.

Standing, sitting and sleeping are daily things we take for granted! What we do not always think about is how uncomfortable we are doing them. Support your three S’s and you will live happily ever after in less pain!

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