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“70-80 per cent of the working population in metros suffers from Lifestyle-related Diseases”

By Simone Mitchell – Futuristic Media Network

Life in a metro takes a heavy toll on its working populace. According to physiotherapist and organising secretary of the WCPT-AWP and IAP Congress 2009, Prof D H Dastoor about 70 to 80 per cent of the working population in a city could possibly suffer from some lifestyle-related diseases. Prof Dastoor said this while speaking on the sidelines of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy-Asia West Pacific and Indian Association of Physical Therapists Congress 2009.

Prolonged incorrect posture in the work environment coupled with high stress and improper diet are sure-fire silent killers, Dastoor added. According to other statistics about 70 per cent of the afflicted wouldn’t know that they suffer from a lifestyle-related disease. Most would opt for a short-term home remedy or hop across to the neighboring spa for a massage or turn to alternate medicine. Some would just pop a pain-killer as a short term symptomatic cure. None, if few of them would realize that the trouble lies much beneath.

Long and tedious hours of work take a toll on the physical state of a person leading to the by now very-common problems of neck and lower backaches. Other Lifestyle-related diseases like obesity also add to the overall problem.

Physiotherapy treatment helps retrain the body muscles and create a positive change in body awareness and movement behaviour, which helps overcome exhaustive hurdles in daily routine.

Not only is the problem of overcoming pain and further deterioration dealt with by physiotherapy but also it helps increase efficiency at work and saves companies the grief of medical coverage, employee ineffectiveness and chronic absence from work due to recurring work-aggravated conditions.

It really doesn’t matter which job you are in but what matters is the way its being done. Shorter working hours allow the body to adapt accordingly as there is enough time for rest, recreation and proper nutrition. Now, with ready-to-eat fast food and long hours of persistent or faulty posture coupled by stress, we are left a mere shadow of the potential we really could be. Continued fatigue results in further prolonged faulty posture causing pain and ensuing in a further distortion of posture. Aggravated pain results in a chronic, exhaustive, viscous cycle that completely saps the body, requiring complete bed rest and intensive physiotherapy treatment.

Computer and IT workers have a tendency to develop neck pains, carpel tunnel syndrome, etc due to the long hours spent before computers in a non-ergonomic ambience. Driving for long distances in congested traffic and particularly over potholed bad roads either as part of a job or even at the beginning or end of the day is grueling. Usually when a person is tired they slouch and tilt their body to one side. This usually results in a habitually awkward position which can lead to low backache, lumbago and sciatica. These are just a few of the common lesser evils that plague the city population.

We may not be able to cut down on the hours of work or travel, but we can rectify the way we do things. Physical therapy helps increase awareness of correct body posture as well as train related body muscles and help in maintaining a better posture.

The WCPT-AWP & IAP Congress 2009 will be held from 22nd to 25th January’09 at the Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai. This is the 4th Asia-West Pacific (AWP) Regional Conference of the World Confederation of Physical Therapists (WCPT) conducted with the Indian Association of Physiotherapists (IAP). This significant four-day event will be inaugurated by WCPT President Dr Marilyn Moffat an eminent expert herself in the field of physical therapy. Many other leading luminaries from the realm of physiotherapy will be present and will conduct workshops and make presentations during this event.

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