Yay for Slouching!

To my Standard 2 teacher who used to yell at me to sit up straight. To my dad who would hit the back of my chair when he caught me slouching. To that weird girl I saw sitting upright, eating char kuay teow in a kopitiam. To my piano teacher who told me my playing will improve if I were to sit up straight.

I say to you all: "HAH!"

Slouch - it's the safest way to sit
David Rose (from www.timesonline.co.uk)

Your mother probably told you, as her mother told her: sit up straight. Whether at table, in class or at work we have always been told that sitting stiff-backed and upright is good for our bones, our posture, our digestion, our alertness and our general air of looking as if we are plugged into the world.

Now research suggests that we would be far better off slouching and slumping. Today’s advice is to let go and recline. Using a new form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a team of radiologists have found that sitting up straight puts unneccesary strain on the spine and could cause chronic back pain because of trapped nerves or slipped discs.

The ideal angle for office workers who sit for long periods is about 135 degrees. It might make working at a computer impractical but it will put less pressure on the spine than a hunched or upright position, the researchers say.

The study at Woodend Hospital in Aberdeen involved 22 healthy volunteers who had no history of back pain or surgery. They adjusted their posture while being scanned by a movable MRI machine, assuming three sitting positions: a slouch, with the body hunched forward over a desk or video game console; an upright 90-degree sitting position; and a relaxed position where the patient reclined at 135 degrees but kept their feet on the floor.

By measuring the spinal angles and the arrangement and height of spinal discs and movement across the positions, the radiologists found that the relaxed posture best preserved the spine’s natural shape.

Waseem Amir Bashir, from Edinburgh, lead author of the study, said: “When pressure is put on the spine it becomes squashed and misaligned. A 135-degree body-thigh sitting posture was demonstrated to be the best biomechanical sitting position, as opposed to a 90-degree posture, which most people consider normal.

“Sitting in a sound anatomic position is essential, since the strain put on the spine and its associated muscles and ligaments over time can lead to pain, deformity and chronic illness.” Dr Bashir, who now works at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada, presented the research yesterday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago.

The study was the first of its kind because MRI scan- ning has previously required patients to lie flat.

Back pain is the cause of one in six days off work and about 80 per cent of Britons are expected to suffer from it at some point. Office workers and school children may stave off future back problems by correcting their sitting posture and finding a chair that allows them to recline, Dr Bashir said.

He added: “We were not created to sit down for long hours, but somehow modern life requires the vast majority of the global population to work in a seated position, The best position for our backs is arguably lying down, but this is hardly practical.”

(I have conveniently deleted the rest of the article where some other doctors refute this theory. :D)

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Funniest Quote of 2006

Overheard at this year's Kancil Awards, at Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel ballroom.

"Kancil Night must be sponsored by Toyogo (plastic goods brand). Everyone so plastic."


Lessons From a Doggie Party

3 happy doggies, originally uploaded by yue-li.

Once upon a time, there were 3 dogs: Sunshine, Midnight and Adam.

3 different coloured dogs. Of different sizes. Of different genders. With different intensity of tail wagging. One even came from the dog pound.

Yet, they got along real well.

Adam, being the smallest, was kept in the cage at first. You see, the 2 big ones might pounce on him and hurt him.

Or so we humans thought.

When said humans eventually let Adam out, we all saw how gentle Sunshine and Midnight were with little Adam.

And we all saw how well the 3 dogs got along.

Regardless of colour, size, gender, level of tail wagging or whether they come from a dog pound.

After this profound moment, we humans continued with our more important role in the circle of life – by gobbling up the party grub of curry chicken, mee hoon, fried chicken and fruits.

Yes, survival and enjoying life more important. You think what?



See: My Portrait

Not too long ago, I volunteered at a camp for orphans. I wasn't much help, I thought. Just hung out with the kids, talking to them and listening to them talk to me.

Something we all had to do at the camp was to leave "affirmation" notes for the new friends we made at the camp.

One of the notes I was privileged to receive was this one. Drawn for me by one of the kids.

So cool, right? I love it!