Clinical Research in Orthopedics

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Will Performing Recommended Stretch Break Exercises in the Sitting Position Alter the Spinal Postural Alignment and Body Discomfort?

Objective: The study investigated whether performing recommended stretch break exercises during prolonged sitting altered spinal postural alignment and body discomfort, and whether or not short bouts of reaching tasks in the sitting posture influenced the spinal postural alignment of participants with chronic low back pain differently from that of asymptomatic persons.

Design: This prospective, experimental study was conducted in Health Science Research Laboratory. Fourteen asymptomatic participants with no history of chronic LBP were recruited for Study 1 to perform recommended stretch breaks between prolonged sittings. Study 2 involved 16 participants including 7 with chronic LBP whom performed reaching tasks in sitting. Participant’s trunk inclination and thoracic and lumbar curvature angles in the sagittal plane during sitting and their body part discomfort scores recorded at the end of the prolonged sitting period.

Results: There were no significant differences in spinal postural alignment during the prolonged sitting or during the reaching tasks while sitting between the two groups of participants. Stretch break exercises did significantly reduce the discomfort in four regions of the trunk.

Conclusions: The Health Promotion Board’s recommended stretch break exercises does reduce body discomfort during prolonged sitting.

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