May 9, 2023
Dr. Mathew Chong asked about the risks to spine health with inactivity.
This increase in sedentary lifestyle has taken a profound toll on our health, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Their experts estimate that physical inactivity contributes to two million deaths per year, making it one of the top 10 leading causes of death and disability in the world.
Matthew Chong, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, California explains why this is the case. “In short, the spine was designed for elongation. When the spine is elongated, the body can efficiently deliver oxygen, blood, and nourishment to the surrounding muscles, vertebrae, and discs,” he tells Best Life. Chong adds that when you sit on a couch, bed, or other soft surface for prolonged periods, the spinal vertebrae become compressed. “Slumping or slouching is simply what most people do when seated, especially because many of us lack the core strength to encourage our spines into a more ergonomically healthy position,” he says.