Excerpt from Bragg’s Back Fitness Program — Chapter 6
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The first seven of these Bragg Spine-Strengthening Exercises can be done anywhere and anytime. All sedentary office workers should get up from time to time, stretch and do at least one of these exercises. You will return to your work refreshed with renewed energy. Instead of losing time, you will save it because you can work faster and better after an exercise recharger. Dr. Henry L. Feffer, orthopedic professor at George Washington Medical School, stated: The greatest strain on the intervertebral disks occurs while sitting, especially in an overstuffed chair. The pressure per square inch on a disk is about twice as great when sitting as when standing, and this pressure is more likely to injure a disk if it does not have a good external muscular support, which is often the case in a sedentary person.
Dr. Feffer also stated: Usually the chair that an office executive gives his secretary is much better for the back than the swivel chair he uses himself. If you are a sedentary worker, as millions of Americans are, use a chair that helps you maintain correct posture at all times. Be sure to get up out of that chair (correctly) at intervals to stretch your spinal column and strengthen your muscles. Get off the elevator several floors below your own and walk up final flights of stairs, head and chest up, spine in perfect alignment. Don’t pull yourself up by the handrail; it’s best to lean forward and up, pushing yourself from one stair to the next by the springy leverage of your hips, legs and feet. Even if your work involves physical labor, remember that it is not necessarily the amount of exercise you do, it’s the way you do it that counts.
Remember the case of the lumberjack who chopped his spine out of alignment! If the muscles on one side of your spinal column are developed more than on the other, the spine can be pulled into a side curvature. Take time for exercises that balance those muscles required in your work. If your daily activities are primarily those of running a household, home or office you will find your day easier and less fatiguing if you use some of these exercises during your day. Also, take breathers at intervals to stretch your spine and strengthen unused muscles. Today many schools do not require regular phys ed. Teenagers and college students who have outgrown vigorous childhood games and recreation need to make a daily habit of practicing good posture and spine exercises. Spines can begin to settle even in your teens!