Lose the Back Pain at Work

In today’s time and age with the wide scale spread of the corporate culture, the majority of the people spend their days working at a desk and in front of a laptop. Despite not having to do anything physical or strenuous that might strain the back directly, this makes people susceptible to back pain irrespective of the age. Long working hours coupled with long commutes only serve to exacerbate the gradual damage that can be caused by having a bad posture.

The ill-effects of sitting with poor posture for a few hours is not immediate, but over time the stress that poor posture places on your spine can lead to anatomical changes in your spine. This, in turn, can provoke back pain through the constriction of your blood vessels and nerves. Back pain due to poor posture is characterised by the following symptoms, firstly, it is worse at certain times of the day. Secondly, it starts in the neck and moves down to the upper and lower back. Thirdly, the pain subsides once you switch positions or stand. And finally, it might coincide with a chair or a new car. However, despite the ill effects of slouching during work or while driving, there are a few remedies to prevent the onset of back pain. These include;

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How About Some ‘Desk-ercise’?

What is the Cubicle Circuit concept and how would it benefit people? What does it do to the body?

People with desk jobs have an established itinerary of activities to perform on a daily basis. Most people have all day desk jobs where they begin and end their day at their desks, parked in front of a computer for 8/10 hours straight. A lot of times people completely disregard the havoc a simple desk job can cause to their body. Research has linked a number of health concerns with too much sitting. Low back pain, wrist pain, obesity, metabolic syndrome, shoulder aches, stiff neck etc. are a few of the health issues that may be caused.

Sitting in one position continuously can cause people to have a hinged back and increase the risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. A lot of systems in the body are affected by sitting for prolonged hours, predominantly the muscular-skeletal system. The posture maintained by the body for prolonged periods is directly related and contributes to health conditions like neck and back problems, muscle pain etc. The body needs some form of an exercise. Sitting continuously for prolonged periods can lead to obesity. Cardiac diseases are also on the rise because of a sedentary lifestyle.

Busy is Life is an initiative of Aster Clinics to trigger a thought in the minds of those people who are so busy in their day to day lives that they completely ignore their health. Cubicle circuit, in particular, is to help those with a desk job to take a break to break the chain of activities every 30 minutes – 1 hour. Instead of sitting, standing up to work for a few minutes, walking when talking over the phone, stretching a little at regular intervals, are all small steps towards breaking the circuit towards a healthier workplace environment. Movement can have profound impacts on your health. When one is sitting continuously, all health processes are stalled which is why the more you sit in a particular position for prolonged periods, the more serious are the health conditions.

Can the stretching suffice or do U have some tips on what people on desk jobs eat or binge on? As most of them feeling bored or hungry and want to snack on and off.

Standing up, stretching, walking and changing your posture at regular intervals in a day can help negate the harmful effects that sitting for a long duration can cause. Along with these activities, one must also sit on a comfortable chair, adjust the position of the chair and desktop/laptop screen in a way that slouching is avoided.

It is rather common that people snack on sandwiches, chocolates and cookies, coffee etc. excessively when doing a desk job because these are all convenient foods. They are easily accessible and the most convenient to pack and get along. This is another major change that needs to be made. The food that you eat at work should be healthy and full of lean protein. Drinking lots of water are extremely necessary to stay hydrated throughout the day. Salads and fruits must be a regular inclusion in the diet. Snack options should be yoghurt, a fruit or vegetable or even nuts like almonds and walnuts. There may be a number of times where you are required to eat out for a celebration at work, it is best to choose the healthiest option when it comes to restaurant or even the food. It surely isn’t possible to be completely away from food items like pizzas, biscuits, soft drinks etc. which is why an occasional indulgence is okay. This practice should be made not just at work but also in general to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Also people doing desk jobs tend to get very low and bored at times due to the monotony of work, do you think Cubicle Circuit can uplift their mood, interest in work and Happiness factor?

Sitting in one place and working throughout the day causes a mental block in your head after a certain point. Towards the end of the day, you will be tired, drained, fatigued and mentally drained. Research states that more than sitting at the desk throughout the day, it is your seating posture that affects the mood because different muscle groups are affected, hence leading to hormonal imbalance. Sitting for a very long time also makes a person more prone to depression because the mind has an effect on the body. Also, slouching while sitting induces feelings of fearfulness, dullness and sluggishness.

The head, neck and shoulder should always be aligned, the neck or spine shouldn’t ever curve because the brain considers it a signal that the body is tired making you feel fatigued. A spine stretch will help better your mood. Standing up at intervals helps relieve the stress in the back and neck, hence acting as a mood buster for the body.

Any examples you’d like to give to anyone who has seen a considerable change in work performance and health by following Cubicle Circuit?

Doctors always advise people to follow these steps to increase productivity at work and to improve their health. Walking and stretching at regular intervals can help us stay motivated and avoid being tired. These are little steps that everybody should incorporate in their life as they lead a long way in ensuring a healthy body and mind.

Your health and happiness related advice for people with desk jobs?

As it is very rightly said, ‘Health is Wealth’. Always ensure to take good care of your health, irrespective of whether at home or work. The human brain isn’t meant to work for extended periods, our focus shifts from time to time, however only a small break is required to get the focus back on track. Taking small breaks from a sitting position at work to standing up and moving around will not only help the body relax but also helps the brain to regain focus. Employees who take frequent but short breaks during work have much more stamina and suffer from fewer aches and pains. Avoid eating at the desk and continuously staring at the computer screen as it increases the strain caused to the eye. You may feel that a two minute break is not long enough but it is long enough to do your body a favour and give it the rest it needs. Unfortunately, this advice is not taken seriously and people do not realise the toll of stress and fatigue on an individual’s health and performance. Breaks are most effective when they are taken before they are actually needed. Taking a two minute break in between work to walk or stretch and eating healthy food instead of junk, are crucial steps that are essential to have a healthy mind and body.

 

Dr.Faisal Dalvi 

Internal Medicine Specialist 

Aster clinic, Muteena (DMPC) & Bur Dubai (AJMC) 

Dr faisal - DMPC

News Source – http://www.khaleejtimes.com/news/uae-health/how-about-some-desk-ercise

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Three Things You Really Need to Know About the Maternity Leave

Planning to take maternity leave? It may not be exactly what you think — or hope — it is if you live in the UAE. Here are some tips to bust your queries.

The government recently announced that a committee has been set up to review UAE maternity leave.

What are the current rules for UAE maternity leave?

Private companies in the UAE currently offer some of the lowest levels of maternity leave in the world. Compared to The International Labour Organisation’s recommendation that mothers take a minimum of 14 weeks off work, the UAE currently offers women around 6 weeks maternity leave.

This differs depending on a few factors:

Women in the private sector

According to UAE law, all women employed in the private sector are entitled to 45 days maternity leave if they have worked for their current company for more than 12 months, this includes both pre and postnatal periods. Women who have worked for a company for less than a year, however, are only entitled to 45 days with half-pay during a leave.

Women working in DIFC

Women working in Dubai International Financial District (DIFC) are entitled to a slightly different deal, under the free zone’s rules they are allowed a total of 65 days maternity leave, including 32 days on half-pay and 33 days on full pay.

Women working in the public sector

Women working in the government sector are entitled to 60 days paid leave and 100 days unpaid leave.

 

So what’s changing?

The biggest change is the creation of a new committee in the month of November 2016, to review all aspects of the UAE’s current Maternity Law. It is still not clear whether the committee will advise the government to increase maternity leave in the country, however, the fact the government is having a conversation about maternity rights is a positive step towards any possible reform.

 

Are there any other changes we can expect?

Although it is not certain which (if any) changes will be implemented, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has made it clear that improving gender equality is set to be a key government focus. Earlier last year he set up the UAE Gender Balance Council, which is currently reviewing several aspects that affect female employees, including flexible work hours, support for women at work and improving overall gender balance.

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