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Disease from Long Continued Pressure



Continued pressure from strained positions of the body may be productive of temporary or permanent symptoms of disease, even when the work which leads to it is comparatively light and actually sedentary. I have observed that writers who sit closely at the desk acquire, not unfrequently, the habit of leaning heavily forward upon the desk, so that the lower part of the breastbone is compressed. The compression may produce an actual deform ity if it be caused early in life, and the effect of it is to interfere with digestion and to produce a sense of weakness which is, at times, very depressing. The fact of the pressure being made is almost always indicated by the mark or wear of the clothes which cover the part of the body that is pressed upon. The sedentary worker may therefore always know by this sign that it is time lie learned to assume a less injurious position during hours of work.

Another strained position adopted by persons following seden tary pursuits is that of leaning heavily on the chair a little over towards one side of the body. This causes pressure upon the sciatic nerve on the side leaned upon, the result of which may be a sensation of numbness and want of muscular power in the limb below. I have known persons suffering from this cause taken with the fear that they were affected by paralysis.

body and leaning